Regarding the Dec. 12 editorial “The great opioid epidemic”:
Solving the problem of opioid abuse and death requires more nuanced solutions than a blanket war on drugs.
To help prevent opioid overdoses, people should be aware of how to prevent a loved one from dying. Naloxone, a drug sold as Narcan, is so effective that it can revive virtually all overdose victims within minutes through a simple shot or a nasal spray. Linda Wohlen , a mother in Massachusetts, found her son unconscious outside their home from an opioid overdose. If she did not have the Narcan on hand, her son would have died.
Abuse of and addiction to opioids are serious global problems that affect the health and social and economic welfare of all societies. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 26.4 million to 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide. In 2012, an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffered from substance-use disorders related to prescription opioids and an estimated 467,000 were addicted to heroin.
To address this complex issue, each state should require training facilities to raise awareness of Narcan and how it can prevent opioid overdoses.
Charmaine Jones, Upper Marlboro