I won’t pretend to be even the slightest bit knowledgeable about Narcan, the drug, or the medical side of things. I will tell you, though, that I recently read a Facebook post from a “friend” (we are no longer “friends”) stating that “we should just let them die and stop giving them Narcan.”
Taken aback, crazy shocked, and angry this made me. Like, super angry. Her line of work sees the worst of the worst in people. She sees heroin addicts at their worst. The destruction, lies, and combativeness, is probably what she sees and despises. Also, she seems to despise the people she is supposed to serve. Like when she posted a meme making fun of people addicted to heroin.
Listen, I have been robbed by heroin addicts. They stole my kid’s lawn mowing money and our vacation money. We have been taken advantage of by them and totally used. It’s not something that’s easy to get over. To be frank, I’m still getting over it. My story is a crazy one. But we all have stories, don’t we? Haven’t we all been betrayed by a friend? I am saying this because I know first-hand how painful addiction is. Never for one second would I think to withhold Narcan. Because doing so takes away a chance at recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
But allowing friends into our home who needed help (unbeknownst to us, in active addiction), we put ourselves into a position of being robbed. We gave them access to our home, our locks on our doors, and to our hearts as well. But there is something I have learned in all of this.
Stay with me here.
People actively addicted don’t want to be, even if they say they do. They are literally dying inside and out. When the drug is out of their system and addiction is replaced with recovery, the person they truly are emerges once again.
This woman on Facebook is a young mom; her child is an infant. I don’t usually respond to any posts that could be seen as divisive. It’s just not who I am. However, on that day, I responded to the post kind of like this:
“May you make it out of parenting unscathed, and may God never allow you to sit on the other side of this, as the mother of an addict.”
I will summarize it for you. She believes it will never happen to her. And I used to believe that too. I used to be THAT prideful. And now, I am not. Her arrogance, the fact that her job turned her this hateful towards addicts, is quite unsettling to me. I believe she needs to find a new career.
Two times a week, I get to paint with recovering addicts/clients at Victory Bay Recovery Center. One of them explained to me that he was saved by a stranger that walked past him as he was dying on the street of a drug overdose. This stranger gave him Narcan. He said, “I never want to go back to that, to being homeless, to that life.” I am pretty sure my painter didn’t know how to recover from addiction. He didn’t have all the answers. But he knew somehow the next step meant recovery. He needed it in order to stay alive.
Narcan, The Life Saver
My “painter” almost died. He didn’t, because of Narcan and a stranger. I thank God that stranger was not the woman on Facebook. My painter is still clean. He just painted with me the other day. At Victory Bay, he was one of my first painters. He is full of potential, with a personality that lights up the room. And man, am I glad that stranger was walking by him, had some Narcan, and decided he was worth it. Because of that painter of mine, he has enriched my life. And he is worth it. EVERYONE is worth a second chance (and a third or even more).
If you are that stranger that walks through Kensington with Narcan on you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. May God bless your soul.