Monday, May 22, 2017
Once again, one mother's world was shattered. Rather than celebrating Mother's Day with her son, she found that he had overdosed on the day that should have been special and now will never be a day to celebrate. Connor had just been released from rehab, and we can imagine that he and his family were excited to see him and support him as he moved forward with his life. They did not know that a monster was under the bed. And that monster, heroin, reached out and snatched that young man, adding his name to the other thousands who have overdosed because their bodies could not now tolerate what he had become accustomed to before he went into rehab. Even though addicts are told, over and over, that their release is a dangerous time, the monster overrides that message.
These deaths are totally preventable. There is a drug that removes the cravings and blocks the effect of opiates. It can be administered as an injection that lasts for a month. It can give an addict time to arrange for medication-assisted treatment once they are released. It can allow the addict's brain to continue to heal so that the addict now possesses an ability to fight the monster. This drug is naltrexone. You may have heard of the "Vivitrol shot." It can save lives if we use it.
All of us should campaign for rehab facilities, prisons, and jails to offer incentives for addicts who agree to the shot before they are released. We are losing a generation to the ravages of drug addiction. Let’s give them a chance to stay alive.