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Narcan Saves People From Lethal Overdoses But Is Still A Source Of Controversy


Martha Polinsky runs the Community Impact Coalition.

Days ago, she came upon a person on the street in the midst of an overdose.

“They looked really bad,” Polinsky recalled. “They looked kind of blue. It was just really, really scary.”

Linda Mehl says the Belmont County Health Department has been giving free Narcan kits to anyone in need.

And each case is different.

“We’ve had an older couple come in who were on opiates for chronic pain management and their doctor recommended that they have the Naloxone (Narcan) kit available,” said Mehl, director of nursing at the Belmont County Health Department.

Some people feel Narcan gives addicts a safety net–a crutch–that enables their addiction to continue.

But experts in the field of addiction disagree.

They say no one who dies of an overdose ever gets a chance at recovery.

“There is some stigma surrounding addiction and that affects people’s perspectives on whether or not they think it’s important to bring people back,” said Polinsky. “We just feel like it’s the right thing to do.”

“I think if it’s your child or a family member, you would do anything you could to save them,” noted Mehl.

In Belmont County in 10 months, they’ve given 42 kits to individuals and 36 to first responders.

Those kits have brought four people back to life–that they know of–and probably more.

“And that’s a very good thing,” says Mehl.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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