There’s an antidote to heroin overdose that costs less than $10, can be administered by nonprofessionals, and has been successful in saving lives and maybe even in deterring further use according to the one study that’s been done. So what’s the problem? Much of the science blogosphere is howling over this statement about that antidote by the deputy director of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy, who opposes the antdote’s use:
"First of all, I don't agree with giving an opioid antidote to non-medical professionals. That's No. 1," she says. "I just don't think that's good public health policy."
Madras says drug users aren't likely to be competent to deal with an overdose emergency. More importantly, she says, Narcan kits may actually encourage drug abusers to keep using heroin because they know overdosing isn't as likely.
Madras says the rescue programs might take away the drug user's motivation to get into detoxification and drug treatment.
"Sometimes having an overdose, being in an emergency room, having that contact with a health care professional is enough to make a person snap into the reality of the situation and snap into having someone give them services," Madras says.
Forget that research sensibly indicating that it’s the “almost kicking it” thing that gets their attention rather than the extra time “going to the emergency room” so they can learn a lesson (aka die) thing. So there you go, saving more addicted villagers by letting them die. Modern American history.