Pubdate: Sun, 21 Dec 2008
Source: New York Times (NY)
Page: L14
Copyright: 2008 The New York Times Company
Author: Daniel Hood
Note: Readers are invited to submit letters to OTHER METHODS OF DEALING WITH HEROIN USE

To the Editor:

On Long Island, new laws will notify schools, churches and other 
organizations about heroin arrests and immunize the notifiers from 
any possible lawsuits. While I understand the desire to do something 
following a personal tragedy (the loss of a child) and in the face of 
growing use of a dangerous illegal drug, these attempts are likely to 
be futile.

The better approach would be to notify the kids about the known 
antidote to opiate overdose, Naloxone, and immunize anyone who 
administers it, calls 911 and stays with the overdose victim until 
the ambulance arrives. Certified training programs are available from 
various harm reduction agencies in New York City, and they work. 
These programs could be easily adapted for schools, churches and 
other youth agencies.

Fears of "sending the wrong message" or "condoning illegal drug use" 
will be overcome when we see our children survive inevitable drug 
experimentation rather than die from a single indiscretion.

Daniel Hood

New York

The writer is an assistant professor of criminal justice at 
Farmingdale State College.
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