Why your kid’s heroin addiction isn’t my problem
First, US surgeon general Jerome Adams said it. Now Dr. Lewis Nelson, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School agrees: more Americans should carry Narcan, the heroin overdose antidote. And perhaps that’s true.
However, I will not be carrying it — the same way I don’t carry an EpiPen, since I don’t hang around with any people who have life-threatening allergies.
And while it’s sad, your heroin addict is unfortunately your own family’s problem. I also don’t carry around a defibrillator-even though it is equally vital to saving lives- because it’s just not practical to carry one.
The idea that we can somehow all be available to addicts in their time of need and responsible for their well-being really bothers me. It’s the part of the “it takes a village” mentality that really gets me crazy. I have enough to worry about with preparing for my own life‘s potential problems and those of my children. Do we really think that we as human beings are able to prevent every possible tragedy from happening? I realize that this is not being floated as a law, only as a suggestion, but I wouldn’t be shocked if a law is next.
Still, people make choices to carry mace, weapons, EpiPens, helmets and the like to prevent things that are threats to their OWN lives, not things that are a potential threat to everyone’s ELSE’s life. It’s the whole probability versus possibility thing. You weigh the risks inherent in your life and conduct yourself accordingly. Hence, my rationale: The chance of anyone near me or anyone I hang out with needing Narcan is almost zero.
This is not like learning the Heimlich so that we can possibly help somebody who is choking or learning CPR in case someone has a heart attack, heroin addiction comes from a series of poor choices. I feel horrible for a family who is touched by this tragic problem, by the Grace of God, mine is not, so I am not going to carry Narcan. But someone whose family or friend circle contains a heroin addict probably should.
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