Do Not Deny Treatment to Heroin Addicts

Paul_LePage_by_Jason_Savage

Target: Governor Paul LePage of Maine

Goal: Take a proactive approach to treating drug addicts and combating Maine’s heroin epidemic.

Pharmacists will not be allowed to sell an anti-overdose drug over the counter thanks to the man who once said Zika’s spread to the United States is the fault of immigrant. The bill to let this happen would have saved hundreds of people in the state of Maine who are struggling with opioid addiction.

Naloxone is a drug that, once injected, reverses opioid overdoses, saving the lives of those who overdose on drugs like heroin. Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia have all passed law allowing for naloxone to be sold over the counter under the brand name Narcan. Major pharmacy chains such as Walgreens and CVS have championed the move. Studies have shown naloxone greatly decreases drug overdoses and lowers overall drug use in areas where it’s easily accessible.

LePage said that making naloxone more accessible would only “perpetuate the cycle of addiction,” even though pharmacists and doctors–men and women who are uniquely qualified to comment on the effects of substances like naloxone–state otherwise. LePage’s understanding of drug addiction is, based on his commentary, severely lacking.

“Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose,” said LePage. “Creating a situation where a heroin addict has a 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.”

Governor LePage’s move to keep heroin addicts and their loved ones from having quick and easy access to naloxone is a blatant disregard for the lives of Maine’s drug-addicted citizens. Because the state is currently the epicenter of a large heroin epidemic, something has to be done to combat the rate of heroin use and overdoses in the state. Naloxone has shown to have a positive effect and is definitely worth a try.

Unfortunately, the state of Maine is governed by a man who has urged the public to shoot drug dealers as a means to combat the heroin epidemic. Sign the petition to tell Governor Paul LePage that heroin addicts in Maine need naloxone to save their lives and combat their addictions.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor LePage,

It is distressing that you have vetoed legislation that would prove beneficial in saving the lives of the drug-addicted population in Maine. Naloxone has been shown to not only save lives by reversing the cascading effects of overdose in drug addicts, but has also been shown to contribute to decreases in drug addiction in areas where it is easily accessible.

With this in mind, we urge you to instead reverse your decision and work diligently to allow naloxone to be available over the counter in your state. Also, we urge you to educate yourself on how drug addiction works. Your views on drug addiction and drug addicts are despicable and dangerous, not to mention completely wrong.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jason Savage

Sign the Petition

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