Saving a life with more than narcan


5 ways to welcome an overdose patient back:

1. Get rid of the crowd.

Waking up from a near-death experience is traumatic enough; a dozen or more people staring down at you is a little overwhelming.

2. Lower the lights.

Bright lights hurt somebody with pinpoint pupils.

3. Introduce yourself.

You are the only person who matters to the person in your care. Saying hello alleviates his or her anxiety considerably.

4. Explain exactly what happened, and what you did to reverse it.

Their high disappeared; the only thing that matters to them is getting high again. Now is the perfect time to introduce the idea of living clean as a real possibility.

5. Tell them your plan for staying clean and sober.

Don’t have a plan? Sure you do.

The Plan:

“We are taking you to the emergency room. It’s crowded, loud and horrible. You have to stay there until medically cleared by a doctor who knows that the Narcan we just gave you has a short life, and the possibility exists that you could OD again. You will probably just feel high again, but with any luck, and the right tools, that can be the last time you will want to. Tell your doctor, the nurse, the security guard, anybody who will listen the exact nature of what led you to the ER. Don’t hold back. There are people who care, and those people will do everything in their power to get you the help you need to get on with your life. And when you make the decision to get your life back, miracles will happen.”

It really is that simple. Of course it won’t work every time, or even most of the time, but what have you got to lose? An addict presents as an arrogant, self-destructive idiot more times than not, but who they really are inside is a lonely person in pain who needs somebody to talk to, and maybe understand.


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