Naloxone is Vital to Save Lives But Is it Enough? 

first responder with woman who overdosed

Across the country, first responders like police and emergency medical services are coming across an increasing number of people who overdose on opioids and need rescuing. News reports surface on dozens of overdoses in a single day or hundreds in a week or month. News reports like these:

  • ABC affiliate WPLG in Miami, Florida reported on 273 people treated for overdoses of heroin or fentanyl in the month of August 2016. In one case, two women sailed through a red light and caused an accident—both women appeared fully unconscious when they blew through the light. Both women required naloxone to bring them back to consciousness.
  • In the Cincinnati area, there were 174 overdoses within six days. And on one Saturday night in Cleveland, there were seven overdose deaths.

In these reports, a first responder or other medical professional often explain that most of the people they save are taken to a medical facility which they later walk out of, refusing treatment or help. Some of them overdose again later in the day or the next day and the day after that. In East Liverpool, Ohio, Police Chief John Lane told a story of a man who was brought back from an overdose on a Friday night who then, as soon as he was conscious, ran away from officers through the woods. Later that night, he overdosed again.

Public Reaction to Naloxone

Many of the general public are grateful to naloxone and its ability to bring these individuals back from a certain death. But many others are furious. You can see their fury in their comments on social media or in response to news stories. The most brutal state that these people should be allowed to die since they will just return to their drug abuse.

It’s obvious that these people never watched someone they love waste away due to addiction. They also don’t seem to understand that with the right help, those who are addicted can come all the way back to the enjoyment of life and productivity, even after the most severe addiction to heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine or other drugs. After recovery and rehabilitation, those who were once addicted can once again be caring parents and contributing members of society. They are not forever damned.

Why Do the Addicted Return to Drug Use?

Yes, many people return to their drug abuse after they are brought back from an overdose. That is the nature of an an overwhelming addiction to heroin or another drug. A person’s own will and desire to live is crushed by the physical, mental and spiritually deadening effects of heavy and constant drug use. Until they can be free of the stranglehold of drug addiction, many of them feel so worthless that they don’t care if they die with the next injection of heroin.

On the Narconon drug rehabilitation program, this compulsion to continue drugging oneself can finally fade away. It can be replaced by a desire to live and grow and contribute to others. Self-loathing can be replaced by self-love. Secretive hatred of others can fade away, to be replaced by caring. It’s not an easy job and it doesn’t happen overnight. But we have watched it happen for the last fifty years.

If someone you care deeply about is trapped in addiction, contact us to learn how this program helps return a person to a productive, enjoyable life. 

Call Narconon Ojai today at 1-877-936-7435


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.