We are just beginning to grapple with a heroin problem in this country that exceeds most of our imaginations and understanding. There's no better example than a recent New York Times front page story on heroin in Hudson, Wisconsin. It could just as easily be Waukesha…or Dane County. Or the state of Vermont which is also struggling with heroin. The point is the public health issues transcends most of the boundaries we associate with drug abuse. It's a sickness and we have to treat it that way.
And before we can get someone to treatment it's often necessary to intervene…prevent an overdose…save a life so it can be treated. Last week the federal food and Drug Administration gave friends and families a tool to do just that. The move allows doctors to prescribe an easy to administer antidote that someone can inject into an overdose victim to keep them alive while awaiting an ambulance and the medical care required for survival.
This is just the beginning. But for users struggling with their addictions and loved ones desperate to help them the availability of this antidote offers what's needed most…hope.