I strongly believe that access to the antidote for overdose will save lives. The quicker people using opiates, family members and friends have an antidote at hand, know how to administer without being fearful then lives can be saved. Further education for people who are using substances needs to focus on the importance of not using alone, the importance of not using in remote or isolated places. A quick response can save a life. A quick response may prevent acquired brain injury and the subsequent life changes that are associated with this. Any way we can reduce the amount of harm that is happening to a person will mean we can continuously encourage and maintain the hope of recovery.
I also strongly advocate for prescription heroin to people who have made many attempts to cease or change their usage without success. It is my belief that substitute pharmacotherapies such as Methadone and Buprenorphine do not hold some people and leave those people at high risk of lapse or relapse. I believe from being the silent witness that the nature of our system of enrolling into programs requiring attendance at pharmacies on a daily basis perpetuates stigma, can perpetuate shame and can become so difficult to comply with the hours for attendance that it is easier to use a drug than try and battle the program.
A stringent registration and supervision of administration could ensure or at least allow people who are using not for the effect they are getting from the drug but to hold at bay the withdrawal symptoms an opportunity to reclaim their lives. The chaos of finding the drug each day would be eliminated and focus could be spent addressing issues underlying that person’s drug use.