As most of us Mainer's have probably heard by now, Paul Lepage, recently vetoed a bill that would make Naloxone Hydrochloride, or Narcan, an over the counter drug that any lay person could use and administer. This topic has become very prevalent in the media lately, causing a small uproar in the Maine residents. I have heard both sides, listening to both the opposers of Lepage's decisions and those who agree with his drastic choice. I believe that all sides to this "debate" (if you want to call it that) have very valid points. For me, however, I 100% agree with Lepage's decision to veto the bill and I have no remorse for feeling this way.
First off, I am against any kind of drug use. Narcan needs to be administered by medical professionals. Putting this drug in lay persons hands, with no medical training, would drastically increase misuse. The issue at hand is more than just "saving lives." Making this drug readily available gives drug users a false sense of safety. This would make narcan an over the counter medicine, meaning any one could get this. How would this stop the heroin epidemic that is plaguing Maine if all heroin users have a safety blanket and never have to worry about taking too much. What's the one thing that keeps normal people from taking heroin...besides common sense...is the risk of it ending their life. If that risk is taken away, what will stop everyone from doing heroin?
We need to collectively get people off drugs, not enable them to use them
Govenor Lepage was quoted saying, "Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose. Creating a situation where an addict has a heroin needle in one hand and a shot of naloxone in the other produces a sense of normalcy and security around heroin use that serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction."
Like most girls growing up, I always dreamed about my fairy tale wedding. I dreamed about marrying prince charming, living in a big beautiful house and having beautiful kids playing in our front yard. Now, as a young adult in her early 20's, these dreams are becoming more of a reality. It won't be long before I graduate college, get a job, get married and have children. These dreams of having my children running up and down our street, playing on their swing set on the front lawn, or riding their bike in our drive way always included me living in the same area I grew up, surrounded by immediate family, just like I grew up. But with the increasing epidemic of drug use in the state of Maine and specifically Washington County where I grew up, I do not want my future family to be surrounded by such illegal activitity.
I'm 100% an advocate for saving lives and doing all that we can for people...but I guess it just stems back to my personal opinion and like said above me, the argument could go back and forth forever. But I was raised to have 0 tolerance for drugs and for those who abuse them, I haven't personally had anyone in my family affected by drugs and maybe if I did, my opinion would be different but, I think basically handing out a cure for drugs will create way more problems than solving it will. I agree with Lepaige, I think this will only save someone until their next overdose, and what have they learned from nearly dying? That it's okay to take that much again because they have a pill to save them in their back pocket, it's okay to push themselves to the limit to get the best high that they can get because the repercussions are nothing compared to the crazy high they just got . Go read article after article from ex drug users who stop using drugs because of the experience they had of almost dying from an OD. If there is no risk, what will stop everyone from doing it? It's as simple as that. I think it would be great to save a loved one from almost dying, obviously who wouldn't want that? but if any of family members got into hard core drugs, they need more help than some pill that will bring them back from the brink could offer. It's choices I think Lepaige made a smart decision, which I honestly am hardly ever an advocate for his choices. But like Darrin said, this argument could go back and forth forever