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Social Experiment Shows Whether Or Not Passersby Will Help A Stranger Overdosing

from True Activist:

Cambridge, Mass. is considering putting lockboxes of Naxolone on street corners to combat deaths from opioid overdose.

Among the places hit hardest by the opioid crisis, Massachusetts stands out. Every day, the state loses five people to overdose on painkillers, fentanyl, heroin and other opiates. The city of Cambridge is so desperate to curb the epidemic that they are considering placing lockboxes containing Naloxone on street corners.

In an emergency, this life-saving injection or inhalant that can be administered to someone overdosing. To explore the idea of distributing Naloxone in this manner, officials camped out with a dummy in Central Square and asked passers-by if they would be willing to administer Naloxone to save a life.

Narcan, generic Naloxone, saves hundreds of lives daily across the United States. Since the 1970’s, Naloxone has been becoming more available outside of the hospital, and now can be purchased over-the-counter in many states, for relatively affordable prices. It carries little to no health risk, cannot be abused, and is commonly found in the form of a simple nasal spray.

“We want to see if regular people walking down the street would be willing to help someone who appeared to be overdosing,” said Dr. Scott Goldberg from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who directed the experiment. “And if they were willing to help, would they be able to help?”

As reported by The New York Times, the experiment went like this: “Passers-by were asked to pretend they had just found an unconscious person. They were handed a cell phone, which was connected to someone acting as an emergency dispatcher.The dispatcher directed them to a nearby lockbox, gave them a code to open it and then explained how to administer Narcan, a nasal spray.”

Dozens of people agreed to try the experiment. Overall, people were enthusiastic about the idea and felt that it not only acknowledged a sad truth but empowered strangers to help each other. Others thought the box would encourage drug users, and stigmatize locations and businesses.

Cambridge city manager, Louis A. DePasquale, said “Like so many communities in Massachusetts, Cambridge is experiencing and actively responding to the opioid crisis. Because the prototype boxes would allow bystanders to administer life-saving Narcan to overdose victims before the arrival of EMS, they have the potential of saving lives.”

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2 comments to Social Experiment Shows Whether Or Not Passersby Will Help A Stranger Overdosing

  • Ed_B

    “Cambridge, Mass. is considering putting lockboxes of Naxolone on street corners to combat deaths from opioid overdose.”

    It is axiomatic that people cannot be saved from themselves. Any attempt at intervention on their behalf will either fail immediately or will fail soon thereafter. By this stage of addiction, they are the walking dead.

    “To explore the idea of distributing Naloxone in this manner, officials camped out with a dummy in Central Square and asked passers-by if they would be willing to administer Naloxone to save a life.”

    Right. In this litigious society, people are going to risk the loss of everything they own in a lawsuit to save someone from them self. After years of abusing their bodies with drugs, they are likely to die whether someone tries to help or not. If that happens, then the family or “estate” of this unfortunate wretch can sue the person who tried to help for everything they own or ever will own. Now, is that a great deal or what? I’m thinking that it is not. Better to call 911 and get some professional help on the scene.

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    Ed is right, the addicts are the walking dead, just waiting for their time to fall down one last time and never get up.

    How about filling those “emergency boxes” with chunky doses of Fentanyl or Carfentanil or refined Uranium to give the desperate addict one last Ka-POW!! (and with the Uranium, it’ll be easier to find the body if it’s hidden behind the bushes, just use the geiger counter to locate him.

    I’ve personally known a few addicts in my old neighborhood, and only one of them had the determination to get clean, all the others have died.

    Helping to save an overdosed addict, is like trying to hand-wipe your windshield clean in between wiper-swipes, knowing full well that the wiper blade is gonna come back again and again.

    Don’t waste your time. Addicts have to keep dosing until they die from the drugs, or from old age, or somebody shoots them when the addict tries to rob or steal stuff to sell so he can get another dose.

    Heck, I won’t even date any woman who smokes cigarettes! It’s ok if she drinks a beer or glass of wine, but if she’s a drunk? No dice.

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