Hartford, Connecticut has been facing an epidemic of heroin and prescription painkiller addiction and abuse. Overdose rates are skyrocketing with no sign of them slowing down any time soon. The scare has led the local communities to demand new programs to help combat the drug issues. Local government and state officials are becoming more vigilant against fighting the opiate battle. This is not a problem that can be fixed over night. This problem will take a lot of hard work and dedication from professionals throughout the state. The more education that the public receives on the dangers of opiates, the better off the people will be.
One of the main issues with heroin addiction is not catching it in time. Most young adults start using prescription painkillers like Oxycodone or Hydrocodone recreationally. They quickly become addicted to these pills and realize their addictions far outweigh their means of getting them. Many will try to go to doctors for fake ailments. Others will steal and sell things to maintain their addiction, but most eventually fall victim to using heroin. Heroin is a much cheaper drug that gives the same euphoric high as opiates. The problem with heroin is the lack of consistency. When buying heroin, you have no clue what it is mixed with, it's potency, or if it's even heroin. We need to educate our youth about the dangers of prescription painkillers which are the gateway drugs to heroin.
One of the programs put into place in Hartford is that first responders will now be able to save lives as an overdose is taking place. Naloxone also known as Narcan will be available to the cities first responders and for home use when a prescription is written out by a doctor. Naloxone is administered when an addict is going through an overdose. It helps to reverse the overdose, saving countless amounts of lives. The good news it is allowed in the home legally and will be in the hands of friends and family members of opiate addicts. This will certainly help to save lives.
First responders will also be carrying the drug with them and will be trained by the towns local health department. Having this drug on the front lines of the opiate battlefield will save more lives than anything else. Many family and friends know that an addict close to them is abusing opiates. Their hands are tied on getting the person help because you can't force an addict to get clean. At the same time, you do not want them to die from an overdose and have to live in fear that you will find them deceased. Now families and friends in this position can have the drug in the home and ready for an emergency overdose.
The second program taking place is known as the “detention center program.” This program will be educating inmates on the drug Vivitrol. Vivitrol is a drug that is administered intravenously and blocks the effects of opiates and alcohol for up to 30 days. Inmates that are a month from their release date can sign up to be educated on the drug and it's effects. If they want it, they can have the drug administered 5 days prior to leaving the facility they are at. Hopefully these new changes will help curb opiate overdose rates.