Narcan Vending Machines? A Big No From Yakima Mission Director
The Director of the Yakima Union Gospel Mission says placing Narcan vending machines in the community will take lives not save them as many health officials contend. Narcan is an anti-opioid drug that can save the life of someone overdosing on drugs like fentanyl.
THE VENDING MACHINES COULD ACTUALLY INCREASE DRUG USE
Mike Johnson believes the availability of an anti-overdose drug will actually create more risky behavior. "I would bet that a year from the time vending machines are installed in Yakima you'll see an increase in overdoses not a decrease." Johnson says the answer to stopping overdoses isn't giving addicts anti-overdose medication but rather to give them help. In the past that help came to many people after they were arrested for using or possessing drugs.
POLICE LOOK THE OTHER WAY THESE DAYS ALL OVER WA
That's not the case anymore since laws have become so lax in the state, many drug users will never be arrested and may never be forced to face treatment. Many are simply dying on the streets. Johnson says those who use drugs aren't in fear of drugs killing them. He says instead of helping people the current public policy only gives people more excuses to use drugs especially with Narcan that can save lives. He says for many addicts Narcan just represents another "opportunity to live closer to the edge."
JOHNSON IS HOPING LAWMAKERS TAKE ACTION SOON
He says the answer isn't more Narcan but tougher laws that hold people accountable. He says state lawmakers need to work to create tougher drug laws to hold people accountable so they can get the help they need.
NO FINAL DECISION YET ABOUT THE VENDING MACHINES
Yakima Health District officials say no decision has been made about the Narcan vending machines in Yakima. However discussions have happened at board of health meetings with some people suggesting a vending machine should be located at the Yakima Union Gospel Mission. Johnson says if the vending machines are ever approved you won't find one at the Yakima mission.
KEEP READING: See 25 natural ways to boost your immune system
KEEP READING: 15 Natural Ways to Improve Your Sleep