Nexus

The Heroin Epidemic Is Turning My Soup Kitchen Into an Emergency Room

I Never Imagined I'd Be Spraying Life-Saving Drugs Up an Addict’s Nose

In this Tuesday Feb. 27, 2012 photo, Kathy Deady holds up a tube of Naloxone Hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, in her Quincy, Mass., home. Narcan is a nasal spray used as an antidote for opiate drug overdoses. Deady twice had to use the drug on her son, who was suffering from an overdose of heroin. The drug counteracts the effects of heroin, OxyContin and other powerful painkillers and has been routinely used by ambulance crews and emergency rooms in the U.S. and other countries for decades. But in the past few years, public health officials across the nation have been distributing it free to addicts and their loved ones, as well as to some police and firefighters.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In August, she drove two miles, past a large hospital, to get her boyfriend to our soup kitchen, but not for the food. She knew someone here would have Narcan, a life-saving overdose-reversing drug that, until recently, was unavailable here …

In August, she drove two miles, past a large hospital, to get her boyfriend to our soup kitchen, but not for the food. She knew someone here would have Narcan, a life-saving overdose-reversing drug that, until recently, was unavailable here in Maine to people at risk of overdosing. Her boyfriend was bluish and slumped over the passenger side of the van when he arrived. Brittney, a caseworker, administered Narcan and …

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