The number of people dying from heroin overdoses in Ohio has increased exponentially. State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow an addict’s family or friends to give a drug that can halt an overdose. Some medical experts worry expanding the drug’s availability could cause other problems.
I recently found myself in a pretty heated debate with family over this drug.. I was doing my typical act of playing devil’s advocate.. I am slightly still torn as to what the right answer should be.. Should someone be permitted to bring back a person who overdosed on drugs?
I was told be the naysayers who said nay: “No, we cannot play God.”
“No, the drug addict made the choice.”
“No, they will live to do drugs again.”
All valid points, I suppose.. but I expanded on it all perhaps too much for a family meal. I guess you should never talk politics or religion at the dinner table. Add to that, thanks to me, Narcan.
Before moving on, let’s first explain this:
Narcan is the brand name for naloxone. It sends someone overdosing on heroin or synthetic opioids into immediate withdrawals and restores breathing.
On the point of playing God. We do anyway.. each and every day. Doctors and family members decides who dies—hell they just decided, in a sense, to allow Casey Kasem to meet his earthly demise.. And isn’t medical advancements ensuring we play God on a more regular basis? At one time in history, we’d put a feather over someone’s face to see if they were dead. These days we can restart the heart up to hours after it stops.. we can make a body live again. We can keep the soldiers in war alive to get prosthetic limbs. And while we cannot restart the brain—yet—Obama is working on that.
So if we play God already with people who get ailments, why not do the same with those who OD? Are they less than people? Did their choices compel others to say they are not worthy of living? Dig deep into your soul for the answers to that.. and while you’re in there, come up with a a concise and totally appropriate paragraph on why doing drugs is ”wrong” to begin with—but minus our the PSAs from Nancy Reagan and Mr. T that are undoubtedly ingrained in your psyche from childhood, if you’re a baby from the 80s that is.
These are deeply troubling questions for me..
I find myself agreeable to the premise that some addicts will live to die another day, do another snort, and take another needle. Yes, they will take a hit and keep on hitting, with Narcan to possibly blame for their furthering of their habit. I also think, however, that this near death experience will enlighten them to the possibility of kicking that deadly habit and choosing an alternate and more healthy way to die: Old age. Maybe that is just the dreamer in me..
America and the world is filled with deadbeats and junkies, whores and heathens. Sinners and saints are hard to find, the murky middle is where too many human beings belong.
But in a society where we regularly play God, it’s perhaps a decent and timely question to start deciding if we should pick and choose who lives and dies.. or if we should just play God in a more universal (*or Catholic!) way.
Yes… the medical team can try to revive a person who ODs.. but should the family? Is it wrong? …riddle me this: Is wrong to revive someone with CPR, or as Mrs. Doubtfire did, relieve someone of choking at a restaurant? Imagine that scene.. Mrs. Doubtfire Part 2, with Piece Bronson injecting himself with heroin.. and Doubtfire has to administer the Narcan.. Now THAT would be a modern take for a sequel, perhaps.
I am going to continue to debate this question internally..
I will also continue to argue both points with anyone willing to have a discussion. I have not yet decided..
But I know this final thing: We are moving towards a society where humans and machines merge.. I think Narcan is a nice fit on that highway. Good or bad.. God or devil. The devil’s always in the details..