Pubdate: Mon, 29 May 2006
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2006 Detroit Free Press
Author: Leanne F. Savola
Bookmark: (Heroin)


A wave of overdose deaths from heroin mixed with a powerful pain 
medication, fentanyl, highlights the need for city and state leaders 
to focus on reducing drug-related harm to individuals and communities.

State and local health departments should immediately adopt effective 
prevention strategies to reduce overdose deaths, including providing 
heroin users, their friends and family, with Narcan, a medication 
that reverses opiate overdoses.

Successful overdose prevention programs launched in Chicago, San 
Francisco, Baltimore, New York City and New Mexico provide drug users 
with Narcan, a medication used by first responders and emergency 
rooms to reverse overdose; educate drug users about risk factors for 
overdose; and train drug users on rescue breathing and calling 911.

If any other group of people were dying in such large numbers, the 
city and state health departments would immediately act, getting 
preventive medicine to those in jeopardy. Drug users should be 
treated with the same amount of concern and respect. There is no 
place for moralism in public health.

Leanne F. Savola

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