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The Opioid Harm Reduction Trap

Does Narcan normalize overdoses?

“I would love to see a world in which Boy Scouts make handing out naloxone as their Eagle Scout project,” said addiction scholar Stefan Kertesz in the Washington Post. Naloxone prevents opioid overdose deaths — which is a good thing.

But soon federal regulators are expected to approve the over-the-counter sale of a nasal spray of the drug — its brand name is Narcan — and I’m thinking that the so-called harm reduction movement is about to inflict a world of pain on damaged people and degraded cities.

It’s one thing to legalize the drug’s availability at health care clinics and pharmacies. It’s another to normalize self-destructive behavior that kills people by hyping more Narcan for more people in more places.

“If we’re teaching our kids how to put condoms on bananas, we can teach them how to put Narcan up somebody’s nose,” a child psychiatrist offered in the same Washington Post story.

I disagree. Let social workers, medics, police, and other professionals carry Narcan. But not Boy Scouts.

The mantra of the “harm-reduction” movement is: “Every life matters.” I fear that telling the world that Narcan is a handy antidote will spur dangerous behavior and loss of life.

Continue Reading at The American Spectator

Debra J. Saunders

Fellow, Chapman Center for Citizenship Leadership
A fellow with Discovery Institute’s Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership, Debra J. Saunders worked for more than thirty years covering politics on the ground and in Washington, as well as American culture, the news media, the criminal justice system, and dubious trends in public schools and prestigious universities. Her column is nationally syndicated with Creators Syndicate.