Middle Schoolers Learn To Save Someone From Heroin Overdose

Because of the widespread epidemic of opiate addiction (which includes both heroin and prescription pain pills) officials are doing their best to spread the word about Naloxone, a drug that can help reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. So far, the following organizations have been working hard to educate the public about this life-saving medication:

  • The American Medical Association
  • The American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • The American Association of Poison Control Centers
  • The Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • The World Health Organization
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

Because thousands of men, women, and teens are addicted to opiates, spreading the word about a safe drug can potentially save many lives! And recently a medically trained fire fighter spoke to Southside Middle School in Manchester, New Hampshire for the same reason. Chris Hickey, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training officer for the Manchester Fire Department in New Hampshire was interviewed by the ABC News television program 20/20.

Hickey began his talk to the sixth graders by asking them if they had ever seen a hypodermic needle before. Some of the students said they had. At one point in his talk, Hickey invited a student to practice administering the drug into each nostril of his nose. For the demonstration, they used saline solution. However, one of the great benefits of Naloxone is that it can be easily administered and has minimal effects on people who have not used heroin. This is why public officials are okay with spreading the news about this medication – even to middle schoolers. Naloxone is not a drug that can be abused in any way.

Essentially, the drug only works on those who have heroin in their system. The drug can be administered through injection or intra-nasally. It contains specific opioid receptor antagonists that can reverse an opioid overdose. When someone is experiencing an overdose, Naloxone temporarily blocks the opiate effects, allowing a person to breathe again long enough for help to arrive. In fact, the drug has been used for decades among medical professionals and it has saved thousands of lives. Now that the epidemic of opiate addiction is becoming more severe, more and more of those in the helping professions want Naloxone to be well known.

Some might argue that children who are 11 and 12 years old are too young to know about heroin addiction, overdose, and how to administer a life-saving drug.  However, the truth is, heroin and prescription pain pills can affect a child at all ages – even at infancy. Frequently, children are born positive to heroin or meth or other illicit drugs. And the youngest known heroin addict on record is a child who is 11 years of age.

Furthermore, Hickey commented in the interview that he is pleased to be speaking to middle schoolers about this topic. He feels he is saving lives by providing important education on a medication that can reverse the fatal effects of overdose.

Perhaps these children are young, but they are old enough to understand the effects of the drug. And in an emergency, they may be able to save the life of a friend or loved one.

 

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Halfway House Help to Ease America’s Heroin Epidemic

America's Heroin Epidemic on the Rise | Transcend Recovery Community

There is a heroin epidemic underway in America. In the Northeast, in the Midwest, and on the Pacific Coast, heroin addicts are struggling with addiction and attempting to find a sober life.

In the New England area, for example, needles are becoming just as popular as the lighthouses across the Northeast coast. In a small town in Vermont, addicts meet in a local Walmart parking lot to buy a “ticket,” the slang term used for a baggie of heroin worth $20. Sadly, in Vermont, heroin overdoses have doubled in the year 2013. In the same way, newspapers of New York’s Staten Island are filling with obituaries of early deaths – those dying of heroin overdoses and who lost their lives to the drug because of its highly addictive quality.

According to the New York Times, in 2012 alone, 36 people died from heroin overdoses on Staten Island, which is higher than New York’s other four boroughs and the highest number in a decade. The statistics continue to be staggering: from January through April 13, 2014, approximately 1,700 glassine bags of heroin were seized which is 500 more than what was collected in these same four months in 2013. Overall, the amount of heroin seized has jumped to over 300% between 2011 and 2013.

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that creates a fast spiral downward. Mental, emotional, psychological and even physical abilities are impaired. It is a narcotic that can leave a user with red or raw nostrils and needle marks or scars on their arms. Obviously, the drug can lead to overdosing and the loss of life.

Yet, for those who are lucky enough to enter treatment, the rest of their lives may be theirs to keep. Perhaps they will find their way to sober living long term. Perhaps they will turn their lives around. The only way to do this is to make the decision to acquire sober help and get clean. The only way to save their life is to commit to their sobriety.

This begins with medical and psychological treatment of the addiction, including working with a physical doctor to address the physiological effects of withdrawal, a psychologist to address the underlying emotional needs, and lastly with a drug counselor to learn the fundamentals of addiction and how to stay sober. An important part to rehabilitative treatment is addressing an addict’s ambivalence to change. An essential part of treatment is eliciting one’s intrinsic desire to change. Anyone using heroin is going to have strong ambivalence about ending an addiction, especially if they enjoyed their drug use. If using heroin brought relief from emotional pain, a dramatic increase in energy, and a euphoric feeling for life, reasons to continue to use might still be there, despite the growing severity in consequences.

Also, if underlying emotional issues, medical concerns, or any mental illnesses still exist, then the desire to use drugs will almost undoubtedly continue. An addict might say that he or she wants to change, but depression, anxiety, and other fundamental reasons might promote continued use. Thus, there often lies an enormous amount of ambivalence.

The examination and resolution of this ambivalence needs to be the focus of treatment. It’s important to know that ambivalence doesn’t end when treatment ends. In fact, it might increase. Once an individual leaves 24-hour care and they feel the freedom of their discharge, a part of them might yearn for using again. A part of them may want to return to old friends, old ways, and the euphoria of a heroin high.

For this reason, a halfway house is a pivotal place for recovery addicts to get the sober help they need and to continue to face their ambivalence head on. A half way house is a place to for a recovering addict to start reintegrating into society with sobriety in their hearts. In fact, a halfway house is where anyone wishing to find freedom from the heroin epidemic can safely return to his or her life. It’s where a recovering addict can ease their way back home by integrating society with sobriety.

 

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America’s Heroin Epidemic on the Rise

America's Heroin Epidemic on the Rise | Transcend Recovery Community

Living sober in America today can be hard to do. Sobriety isn’t just staying away from alcohol; it’s keeping your distance from any drugs that stimulate the addiction cycle in your brain. And you could argue that sober living includes cleansing yourself of the thought patterns that lead to drinking or drug use in the first place. One of the reasons why it’s hard to stay sober today is because of the news about drug use everywhere. Particularly in recent months, news articles and television programs are highlighting heroin, which is becoming one of the most abused drugs in America. Continue reading “America’s Heroin Epidemic on the Rise”