Combat Island County’s Opiate Epidemic: Naloxone for All First Responders
This petition had 1,466 supporters
We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic that is taking more lives than automobile accidents (CDC). Island County is also being impacted greatly by this epidemic. Opiates are affecting people of all races, genders, and ages. In an effort to combat this problem cities and counties throughout the United States have funded and encouraged first responders to carry Naloxone (under the brand name Narcan). This is a miracle drug in the sense that it saves a person from the brink of death. Narcan is an instant reversal of an opiate overdose. The problem is that Island County does NOT fund or encourage first responders to carry this life saving drug. We need not only for first responders to carry this but also Transit drivers. Narcan will save lives. This is the first major step of many towards fighting this opiate epidemic.
My brother, Dylan Keefe Rayner, was a college student who overdosed on June 7th while living in Oakland, California. He, like his twin brother, and myself was born in Seattle and raised on Whidbey Island. When he was found unconscious the first responders did not have Narcan and I believe that this could have saved his life. By getting first responders to carry Narcan we can save lives and give people a second chance at life.
“For too many people in America, addiction is a character flaw or a moral failing, but that’s not the case. We have to help people see addiction for what it is, which is a chronic illness of the brain that we have to treat with the same urgency, compassion and skill that we would treat diabetes or heart disease.” – US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
•Narcan saves someone from an opiate overdose; it gives them a second chance at life
•Narcan can be administered through a simple nasal spray that can fit in a container the size of an Altoid Mints container. Citizens can purchase Narcan for $60-$100
•Narcan has a shelf life of about 1 year but that doesn’t mean don’t use it if you find yourself in a situation that requires it, it could still be effective
•Narcan only works for Opiate related overdoses, if used on someone who isn’t having an opiate overdose it will have no negative effect
•The CDC has listed Naloxone (Narcan) as a key to responding to the opioid Epidemic http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/heroin.html
•Seattle Bike Police have administered and saved 10 people from overdose since spring http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/surgeon-general-hears-praise-for-spds-narcan-use-to-treat-overdoses/
•Anyone who uses Narcan will not be punished or prosecuted. WA State has a Good Samaritan Law that protects those who act in good faith to provide medical assistance. RCW 69.50.315
•Addiction needs to be treated as the chronic illness of the brain that it is. Addiction is complicated and there are many factors that contribute to addiction including genetics, environment, social influences, and mental illnesses.
Here is a link to a very informative website: http://stopoverdose.org/
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