Monday, February 3, 2014

What Might Have Saved Hoffman

Social worker Jeff Feeny,  a recovering addict who still works with heroin users, details in The Atlantic just what's fueling the growing epidemic of overdose heroin deaths--and describes how Naloxone, a "non-narcotic, easily dispensed medication," might have saved Philip Seymour Hoffman, and could save many others.  After advocating for "safe injection sites"  as a "humanity-restoring intervention we can’t have because our laws preclude them," Feeny writes:
There is a particularly chilling aspect to Hoffman’s death that only another recovering addict can feel. He had 23 years clean, and then went back out. Just two weeks ago, I celebrated ten years off my own crippling drug habit. Sometimes I feel convinced that I’ll never relapse and experience that kind of pain and insanity again. Recovery programs warn that this kind of thinking can be dangerous. The addicting substance is characterized as 'cunning, baffling and powerful.' It sounds like a cliché until someone with more than two decades clean, with a beautiful family and a career that is the envy of the world trades it in for a glassine envelope of dope and a set of works.
For more on Naloxone, see the report at the National Institutes of Health site: "Preventing Opiate Overdose Deaths: Examining Objections to Take-Home Naloxone." --  B.B.

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