Life-saving drug program draws mixed responses

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —  A drug credited with saving lives is now available free to the public in New Hanover County. But is it doing more harm than good?

The county Health Department recently received $98,000 worth of Naloxone, a life-saving drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. And they’re putting it into the hands of the community for free.

“Opioid addiction does not care what you do for a living, where you live, or how much money you have. Anybody can be affected by this. So we want to make sure we have it in the hands of the public, so if someone does need it for a loved one, a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a coworker, they will have what they need.”

Carla Turner with health services says she was originally skeptical about providing the drug, until something changed her mind.

“I had a coworker that said, Carla, if that was my child that had overdosed, I would want you to do everything you could to save their life. And that really hit home for me,” said Turner.

“Everybody deserves a second chance. I wasn’t put here to judge anybody. I’m here to protect and save lives.”

Some in the community agree that this is a positive thing, while others worry that it could enable addicts to keep using without seeking help.

“If they overdose and they’re able to give them this specific drug and it brings them back, then it gives them the opportunity to receive help,” said one local woman.

“Some people just can’t be cured of doing something, they’re just so addicted that they need to survive with that drug,” said another.

One woman said she would like to see a program created to monitor those who have been treated with Naloxone, to see that they’re getting the help they need.

Turner says even if you use Naloxone to treat someone who overdoses, you need to call 911 immediately in case it is not enough to save them.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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