Society seems to be finally turning the battle against prescription pain pill abuse, even though it will still take many years to win the war. Gov. Phil Bryant’s opioid task force commission, which issued its report last year, offered many sound ideas that are beginning to be implemented.
One of them is distributing Narcan to first responders throughout the state. Last week, Marion County officials received the nasal spray for reviving opioid overdose victims along with training for how to use it. Police, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters will carry the life-saving medication with them so they’ll have it to administer immediately when they respond to an overdose call.
Some people have complained, reasonably, about taxpayers providing Narcan. If the justification is that addiction is a disease, then why not give publicly paid medication for people suffering from other diseases, such as insulin for diabetics, they argue? However, there’s a difference in a one-time Narcan dose versus consistent use of insulin. A better analogy would be whether first responders have medication to counteract diabetic comas, which we suspect they do.
Regardless, in this case the low cost of the Narcan is far outweighed by the benefit of potentially saving a life.
The local departments received Narcan through a grant, meaning local tax funds don’t pay for it although state and federal ones ultimately do. They’re able to buy it in bulk at $37.50 per dose rather than the market price of $150 per dose.
That’s well worth the price.