How Narcan, a great cop and a convicted killer saved my life
Throughout Jay Lassiter's work on Heroin Uncut: The Truth About the Crisis — an ongoing special presentation of podcasts and videos that take a bluntly honest look at the heroin epidemic — Jay has had the opportunity to speak to a number of extraordinary individuals.
A doctor who admits being pressured to overprescribe. An attorney general seeking inventive ways to get at the root causes of addiction. A county prosecutor emphasizing care and compassion over incarceration.
But perhaps no conversation so far has stood out more than the one Jay had with Anthony — a recovering addict who recounted his experience being revived with Narcan.
If you've been following Heroin Uncut, you already heard Anthony talk about being brought back from the brink — about the moment that could have ended his life. But it's what happened next that's really extraordinary — it's the life he lived once given another chance.
If you're using the app or New Jersey 101.5 site right now, you can listen with the widget above. You can always get the latest episodes from the app's menu or at HeroinUncut.com.
Here are just some of the statements you'll hear:
• "I started to look at ... people that I really admire? My first sponsor ... had murdered somebody. ... And he was one of the most spiritual and loving men I have ever met in my entire life."
• "These (being revived with Narcan) are human beings with goals and dreams. And like somebody like me, I mean — I was able to go back to college, and I’m in college again for my second degree, and I’m a union shop steward. People come to me for help."
• "I used to look in the mirror and tell myself I love myself and feel like an idiot. And you know, it just didn’t work. ... And then I met somebody who had lived my life and found a way out."
Listen to Anthony's story above. And revisit past episodes of Heroin Uncut below.
• The Opioid Industrial Complex — This is who gets rich off your addiction
— Acknowledging that addiction is big business helps clear up what’s really driving New Jersey’s opioid crisis:
• Narcan is saving lives — and that’s bad news — Narcan is an important tool in our war against opiates. But our reliance on it means things have already gone too far:
• Needle exchanges — Why NJ must give drug users syringes right now — An uncomfortable solution? You bet. It’s also why host HIV-positive and drug-recovering host Jay Lassiter doesn’t have hepatitis today:
• Heroin Uncut: Defining New Jersey’s drug problem — Our language about drugs is a jumbled mess. If we don’t understand the problem, we can’t fix it:
New episodes will be released every Saturday.
Heroin Uncut is sponsored by Carrier Clinic, providing behavioral healthcare services in New Jersey since 1910.