'Addicts deserve Narcan chance'

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It is critical for a person who is overdosing from heroin to receive naloxone quickly. Naloxone is a heroin overdose antidote.

First responders do carry it but cannot always reach an overdosing person fast enough. Naloxone should be widely available and affordable to people in the community and to the addict themselves. In Wisconsin, a heroin user or community member can buy naloxone from a pharmacy without a prescription, but this comes with a high price tag costing up to $200.

Heroin overdoses in the United States have quadrupled over the last decade, causing more than 10,000 deaths since 2014. Heroin related deaths can be prevented with naloxone but it's not affordable. The price of naloxone has doubled in the last decade. Many insurance plans will partially cover naloxone, and some community-based organizations or public health programs will provide the drug for free but not every heroin addict has health insurance and many do not have access to community or public health programs or they are not available in their area.

People can help enforce the idea of Narcan for all by starting conversations about the importance of affordable and widely available Narcan.

There is a stigma around drugs abusers and drug overdoses. Some people don't believe that drug addicts deserve to be saved from an overdose. As a member of your community you can advocate for those affected by opioid addiction and help others to realize addiction is a disease and those affected deserve a chance to live and seek help.

Becky Enyeart

Beloit

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