Updated: Mar 30
Great news! The FDA approved Narcan (Naloxone nasal spray) for over-the-counter (OTC) use. Narcan is the overdose antidote and this move by the FDA is certain to save countless lives.
How we got here.
More than a million people have died from an overdose in the last two decades and those numbers are increasing daily. These overdose deaths are not coming from your stereotyped drug addict but from the people you know and love. The Opiod epidemic has now touched each and every one of us and it is time to start taking this very seriously.
Here in the U.S., we are not new to demonizing drugs with absolutely detrimental effects to each other. Since 1937 marijuana was rendered, essentially illegal, pursuant to the Marijuana Tax Act. This was the beginning of closing down communication and pushing unregulated plants, fungi, and drugs into the black market. By 1961 we drove the United Nations to create The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs which was followed a decade later by Richard Nixon declaration that drug abuse was to be “public enemy number one” thereby starting the War On Drugs in June of 1971.
While you might think these regulatory actions would curb the drug overdose and abuse problems it served to do the very opposite by stigmatizing not only all non-prescription drugs but deciding that we should also demonize and regulate our behavior. By doing so we stopped and stigmatized healthy communication around responsible adult use. We drove the world into the black market, removed healthy dialog and education from the equation, and chose to prohibit rather than properly regulate. We left drug production and distribution in the hands of cartels who will consistently choose greed over human life.
What can you do to stop the Overdose Crisis?
Stop stigmatizing drugs and open communication about use and risks. As the mother of four young adults, I believe we have a responsibility to protect our children and that comes with open communication that is not judgmental or designed to direct how someone else may behave. We have now seen that this is not an effective means to an end.
There are solutions that can dramatically decrease overdose deaths attributed to Fentanyl and the opioid crisis. When you understand that Fentanyl is showing up disguised as everything from black market cannabis to benzos, MDMA, and cocaine to any number of substances that can be easily and cost-effective laced with Fentanyl you quickly realize we need to do more than “just say no”. Once again, by stopping the conversation we are leaving our choices up to the black market and bad policy decisions.
Saved My Life because everyone deserves a second chance!
We have learned that trying to dictate another’s behavior through stigmatization and prohibition has generated closed-mindedness, lack of communication and education and an overdose epidemic that is killing over 1500 people a day in the U.S. Far more of our young people will die of Fentanyl overdoses than COVID. We must congratulate the FDA for allowing a solution to be administered OTC and accessible to anyone at risk or who may know someone at risk. That is every single one of us!
Saved My Life is a 501c3 organized to distribute lifesaving Narcan (Naloxone Nasal Spray) for free where people work and play. While currently focused on Illinois, I founded Saved My Life to provide discrete vending cabinets at partnering bars/nightclubs, hotels, dispensaries and retail businesses. If Narcan is present and administered during an overdose it is the difference between life and death. So why not keep it around, especially if you believe that everyone deserves a second chance?