‘Screaming’ over the epidemic

Chas Carlson and Ian Stoddart, two EMTs from Narberth Ambulance, and Eric Miller, an officer from the Narberth Police Department discussed the implementation of Narcan and drug education programs in schools.

It was informative to have them describe what the difference — or lack of — between Narcan and naloxone. In 1971, naloxone was invented and at the time, the generic name was Narcan. But now, Narcan is a company that sells naloxone. On the street and in the work field, EMT’s and officers refer to it as Narcan.

It was also interesting to hear about how there are different ways to administer the drug, and why EMTs or officers use different ones depending on the situation.

The EMTs also discussed the biology behind overdosing. No matter how the opium gets in the body, it’s going to stay there. Opium sits on certain cells, which decide the respiratory rate. So during an overdose, the individual stops breathing and can eventually die from respiratory arrest.

Miller focuses on DARE programming in middle schools, as well as other educational programming in high schools and colleges. He also discussed his work on the force dealing with the epidemic.

“About 10 years ago, we saw the heroin epidemic coming,” Miller said. “We get a lot of flack about ‘what are we doing?’ We were screaming, ‘we’ve got a problem’ at the top of our lungs. No one wanted to listen.”

Miller added that DARE has lost funding from the government, so it’s much shorter and now unregulated, which he said is a good thing since he can talk about the issues from his own perspective, rather than as a governmental mouthpiece.

 

About the author

Emily Scott

Emily Scott is a junior journalism major and history minor at Temple University. She works as the Features Editor of The Temple News, editing and covering people, places and things around campus and the city. Contact Emily at tuf39703@temple.edu.

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By Emily Scott