Archive for April, 2016

CHYNA DIED FROM ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE OF PRESCRIPTION PILLS, MANAGER SAYS

Posted on: April 29th, 2016 by sobrietyresources No Comments

The manager of former professional wrestler Chyna said she died from an accidental overdose of prescription pills.

Thursday, April 28, 2016 04:32AM

REDONDO BEACH, CA —

Former professional wrestler and actor Joan Laurer, better known as Chyna, died from an accidental overdose of prescription pills, according to her manager. Chyna’s manager Anthony Anzaldo told our sister station ABC7 she misused her legally prescribed Ambien and generic form of Valium over the course of two to three weeks. “She didn’t intend to die,” Anzaldo said. “It was accidental 100 percent.” Anzaldo also said no alcohol or illegal drugs were located in her Redondo Beach apartment in the 900 block of Esplanade. The prescription pills were on Chyna’s nightstand when Anzaldo found her body on April 20, Anzaldo stated. “I could see how it could happen,” Anzaldo explained. “Valium, it shuts down your short term memory. So by the time eight or nine days were in the mix, she didn’t know what she was doing anyways.” “For years on end, as long as she took her medication properly, she was fine,” Anzaldo continued. Chyna rocketed to fame as a wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from 1997 to 2001. She began lifting weights in her hometown of Rochester, New York, at the age of 15, and at one time could reportedly bench press 325 pounds. Chyna was open about growing up in a home with alcoholism and would later have her own documented struggle with drugs. In 2007, viewers saw a different side of Chyna when she appeared on the reality TV show “The Surreal Life.” She also appeared on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” the following year.

Chyna later pursued a career in the adult film industry, stating her first adult film gave her a newfound confidence to get back on her feet. She also posed in “Playboy” magazine and had a New York Times’ best-selling autobiography titled “If They Only Knew.” Anzaldo said Chyna’s body will be cremated and a memorial for the former champion was being planned. An official cause of death has not been released by the Los Angeles County Coroner because the results of toxicology tests were pending. The results could take months to finalize, according to officials.

 

http://abc13.com/news/chyna-died-from-accidental-overdose-of-prescription-pills-manager-says/1312865/

 

 

SNL tried to joke about the heroin epidemic in America. Not all of America laughed.

Posted on: April 19th, 2016 by sobrietyresources No Comments

By Jessica Contrera April 17

At first it seemed like an uncomfortable coincidence, and then they showed the chart.

Right there on “Saturday Night Live,” a little white line was showing the rapid pace of America’s heroin epidemic. Up and up it went, as the announcer said, “Heroin use in America is steadily on the rise.”

Then came the punch line.

“But productivity among heroin users has remained stagnant.”

“That’s why ‘Heroin A.M.’ combines heroin with five milligrams of caffeine and a small pile of cocaine,” says Kate McKinnon, playing a mom who just sent her kids to school.

“And now available in gummy bears! Which you can melt down and inject,” chimes in Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the episode’s host.

The skit was a fake ad for a product to help people remain productive while using heroin, with boxes that look, uncoincidentially, just like the packaging for Vicks DayQuil.

SNL has created commercial parodies about everything: chia pets, Spanx for babies, an app for kids whose moms want to add them on Facebook.

It’s not unusual for those commercials to make light of serious news of the moment. Remember, this is a show that has made comedy out of the swine flupolice brutality and ISIS. There will always be people who chuckle along, and (usually more) who take to the Internet in a rage. With “Heroin A.M.,” SNL struck a nerve again.

In 2001, fewer than 2,000 Americans died of heroin overdoses. In 2014, there were nearly 12,000. In New York, where SNL is filmed, the number of heroin deaths increased from 215 in 2008 to 478 in 2012.

The main premise of the sketch is that the happy people taking “Heroin A.M.” aren’t your “typical” drug users, but are two moms and a mini van-driving boys’ soccer coach. Comedy, in this case, mimics reality. The drug is killing people of all ages, incomes and occupations. Just this month, a high school dean in New Hampshire was charged with having heroin in her school office. A 16-year-old in Ohio overdosed on heroin provided by his mother and grandmother. In Iowa, two brothers died of heroin overdoses on the same day.

“My younger, and only brother died from a heroin overdose 5 years ago in February,” a YouTube commenter wrote beneath the video. “That’s not why I don’t think this isn’t funny. This just wasn’t funny. Weak sketch is weak. I expected better from Julia hosting.”

“To all of the ‘addiction isn’t funny’ comments: Think back to the dozens of edgy jokes that you have enjoyed,” another wrote back. “Those are okay, but not this one, just because this happens to resonate with you personally? That’s a bit hypocritical, don’t you think?”

“It’s ironic how SNL does a skit on what is killing so many — heroin. A substance that took so many [of] SNL’s comedians,” one Twitter user wrote. SNL legends Chris Farley and John Belushi both died after combining heroin and cocaine — the same formula for “Heroin A.M.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2016/04/17/snl-tried-to-joke-about-the-heroin-epidemic-in-america-america-didnt-laugh/

She wanted to be the ‘fun weekend mom.’ Police say it’s the reason her teenage son is dead.

Posted on: April 15th, 2016 by sobrietyresources No Comments

By Peter Holley April 10

While Andrew Frye lay dying on the floor of a Super 8 motel room in Green, Ohio, last week, a party raged around him.

The alleged attendees — themselves high from a mixture of heroin and fentanyl — weren’t other teenagers but the 16-year-old’s mother and grandmother, police say.

Prosecutors say the very people who should have protected the teenager from the dangers of drug use were the ones who walked him to a ledge and “enabled” him to jump.

“We have evidence of drug abuse by more than one person, more than one relative of the deceased,” Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It appears his mother, her friend and his grandmother, and a friend of the grandmother, all had a hand in obtaining and disseminating heroin among themselves.

“The evidence in this case turns my stomach,” Barry said.

The teen’s mother, Heather Frye, and her mother, Brenda Frye, face multiple charges, including corrupting another with drugs, child endangering, tampering with evidence and involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

Two other people in the room at the time — Heather’s friend Jessica Irons, 34, and Brenda’s friend Donald Callaghan, 58 — face lesser charges in connection with the teenager’s death, the paper reported.

Barry told reporters that it was “quite apparent” that the teenager was beyond help by the time rescuers arrived, according to Fox affiliate WJW-TV. The adults with him had attempted to hide needles and drugs in the room.

Citing court and prison records, the Beacon Journal reported that all four women have a history of drug-related crime and that the teenager’s mother spent time in prison on three occasions between 2007 and 2014.

During a news conference last week, Margaret Scott, deputy chief assistant prosecutor, told reporters that deaths like Andrew’s are increasingly common in the region.

The Plain Dealer reported that “during a 17-month stretch ending last May, nearly 1,000 people died from an overdose in Ohio.” Over a 17-day period last month, the paper noted, “at least 29 people died from overdoses in Cuyahoga County alone.”

“Unfortunately, this isn’t unusual,” Scott said. “It’s a horrible tragedy because of the age we see here, but it’s not unusual to see family members, unfortunately, procuring and giving the heroin and fentanyl to one another.

“If you’re going to give someone else your poison and you know it’s likely going to kill them,” he added, “we’re going to look at holding you criminally responsible.”

Heather Frye didn’t have custody of her son, according to the Plain Dealer. A detective assigned to the case told the paper that the 31-year-old wanted to be “the fun weekend mom.”

Andrew was adopted by Tammy Smith, a great-aunt and legal guardian, as an infant, according to the Beacon Journal. With the help of her late fiance, John Sabini, she raised Frye alongside her three children like he was one of their own, she told the paper.

When Sabini died in 2010, Smith said, Andrew was overcome by loss and began seeking the company of his biological mother, which worried family members. When his mother showed up a couple of times a year, family members told the Beacon Journal, she claimed that she was not using drugs and that she planned to clean up her life.

“He just wanted his mother and to be around [her] no matter how bad it was,” Julie Andrea, Tammy’s 33-year-old daughter, told the Beacon Journal. “He wanted her to stop. He thought that if he was with her when she was using, at least he was with her.”

Unfortunately, the opposite occurred, and the teenager developed his own history of drug abuse, the Plain Dealer reported. And yet, he was still a teenager, family members told the paper, one who “liked animals, building computers, playing with his cousin’s children and singing.”

“Never in a million years did we think she would get him into heroin,” Andrea told the paper. “We think the only reason he did it was to get her approval.”

On Tuesday night, the last full one that Andrew would spend alive, his biological mother showed up at Smith’s door to take the teenager on an outing. The plan was for the pair to go shopping and then go swimming at a local motel, according to NBC affiliate WKYC.

“He told me he loved me and he would come back,” Smith told the Beacon Journal.

At some point the next day, his mother, his grandmother and their friends gathered in the motel room and decided to shoot up with the teenager. Detectives told the Beacon Journal that Heather Frye told her son to shoot up in a bathroom so she wouldn’t have to watch him do it — the act bothered her.

In a recording of a 6:45 p.m. phone call to 911, a sobbing and hysterical Heather Frye can be heard telling a dispatcher that she awoke to find her child dead, according to the Beacon Journal.

“He’s not breathing,” the paper quotes her as saying. “I woke up and my son is so cold.”

After telling the dispatcher that she suspected her son was dead of a drug overdose, she asked another sobering question:

“Can I pick him up and hold him, please? … I want to hold him,” she said. “I just want my baby back.”

Smith, the teenager’s adopted mother, told the Beacon Journal that she longs for the same thing. She was folding clothes when she learned that her son was dead. There is a hole in their family now, she said, and if she could, she’d give up her life to “truly trade places with him.”

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/04/10/she-wanted-to-be-the-fun-weekend-mom-police-say-its-the-reason-her-teenage-son-is-dead/

 

Tattoo Therapy Helping Addicts in Michigan

Posted on: April 11th, 2016 by sobrietyresources No Comments

After just a year of being open, Ink Therapy has already won the title of Michigan’s Coolest Tattoo Shop.

By Valerie Tejeda 04/08/16

For many people who are struggling with addiction, depression and anxiety, music and art therapy have become somewhat of a saving grace, helping them stay clean and sober. But what about using tattoo therapy to promote sobriety?

Corey Warren, a 26-year-old Michigan resident, came up with the idea to open a clean and sober tattoo shop in his town, naming it Ink Therapy. The concept for the Lansing shop started as a passion, inspired by Warren’s work with recovering addicts, and also from his own struggles with substance abuse in the past. Warren opened the shop with his mother, Jacque Liebner, following years of a strained relationship. “When I was in high school, I end up becoming dependent on heroin and alcohol and other drugs,” Warren told MLive. “My mom and I had 8-to-10 years of hell. Our relationship was chaos and separation, for lack of better words.”

After Warren started living drug-free, he and his mom founded WAI-IAM, a nonprofit organization that helps people who are struggling with substance abuse. After that, they opened Rise Recovery Community, a “new-age sober living” center. It was there that the idea for Ink Therapy was born, after Warren met residents who were tattoo artists and piercers by trade but feared that working in a tattoo shop environment would compromise their sobriety. “The name says it all—Ink Therapy,” Warren explained. “It’s therapy to them.”

Ink Therapy is completely free of drugs and alcohol. Anyone visiting the shop must appear to be sober, and if someone shows up visibly high or drunk, they will be asked to leave the premises. Clearly, creating a positive environment is extremely important to Warren, who wants Ink Therapy to be a place that is safe and sober for both the artists and clientele. “It’s a breath of fresh air when you walk in there,” said Warren.

The shop currently has four local tattoo artists and one piercer working on staff and any profits made through Ink Therapy go to the Rise Recovery Community program, which helps pay for residents in need of financial support during treatment. “What we’re doing over there is very pure, it’s very genuine,” Warren told MLive. “They make you feel like you’re family when you’re in there.”

The shop’s dedication to good vibes succeeded in setting it apart from the competition. Though it opened its doors just last year, Ink Therapy has already been voted Michigan’s coolest tattoo shop among local MLive readers.

https://www.thefix.com/ink-therapy-helping-addicts-michigan

New Drug Could Prevent Meth and MDMA-Induced Deaths

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by sobrietyresources No Comments

By May Wilkerson 03/31/16

The new drug will essentially act like an ice pack for the brain to prevent ecstasy-induced hyperthermia.

MDMA (aka ecstasy or Molly) and meth are staples at many electronic music festivals like the Electric Zoo and the Electric Daisy Carnival. And it’s not uncommon to see people leave one of these events on a stretcher. This is because these drugs, when taken in an environment where people are often crowded together, sweaty and dehydrated from hours of dancing, can lead to a condition called ecstasy-induced hyperthermia. Many festivals have cooling stations with fans, mist and bottled water. But now, a new injectable drug is being developed that could help treat the condition, preventing ER visits and even death, Inverse reports.

Ryanodex is an injectable drug developed by Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which essentially acts like an ice pack for the brain, reverting the brain and body’s temperature to normal levels. The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse recently agreed to begin preclinical tests on the drug’s ability to treat brain overheating caused specifically by MDMA and meth.

In 2011, 125,000 people landed in the ER with the condition after taking either of these drugs. Taking MDMA or meth causes the temperature of the body and the brain to spike. Too much, especially when combined with intense exercise (dancing) in a crowded space in the heat of summer (when these festivals usually take place), can lead to brain hyperthermia.

Both MDMA and meth mess with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. If untreated, this can cause cells in the liver, kidney, and heart to burn out and die and, in severe cases, it can be fatal.

The heat triggered by these drugs can cause the body to reach “the kind of temperatures that there’s no other way to describe it other than it will melt your organs and do damage to your organs to the point you will die,” said one ER director.

This summer, the first round of tests on Ryanodex will be conducted using an animal model. If the results are positive, human clinical trials could begin as early as next year. In the meantime, it should fall on festival organizers to provide more cooling stations and medical personnel to help prevent tragedies like the Molly-induced death at New York’s Electric Zoo music festival in 2013.

https://www.thefix.com/new-drug-could-prevent-meth-and-mdma-induced-deaths

 

Life Is Hell After Narcan, Heroin’s Miracle Cure

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by sobrietyresources No Comments

REALITY CHECK   03.21.16 9:01 PM ET

The media is hooked on stories of overdoses being magically reversed by wonder drug naloxone, but what follows is arrests, pain, and more addiction.

PHILADELPHIA — Michael Charles Meeney turned 26 in jail on March 2, a week after his arrest for misdemeanor heroin possession. But his entire life may as well boil down to an inglorious 30 seconds of tightly edited video, played on local news channels, that shows him nearly dying.

On Feb. 18 a closed-circuit surveillance camera captured him shooting heroin, then falling out of his seat on a crowded city bus in Philly suburb, Upper Darby. The video cuts to a police officer hovering over the unconscious man and applying a dose of the powerful overdose antidote naloxone.

Naloxone (sold under the brand name Narcan) has been the subject of increasing media attention since the Food and Drug Administration approved a nasal spray version of the drug in last November to reverse the effects of opioid overdose, namely severe respiratory depression that can be fatal if left untreated. Narcan works by reversing those symptoms. A number of police departments now outfit their officers with it, and changes to state laws have made the drug legal for sale over the counter in some pharmacies. In 2014, Pennsylvania passed a law that made naloxone available through a standing prescription to laypeople, including drug addicts themselves and their families.

The video footage of Meeney’s overdose concludes with him back on his feet and being escorted off the bus by police paramedics—a seemingly happy ending to a nearly fatal tragedy.

But Meeney’s story is anything but happy. And it’s far from over.

After saving his life, the police arrested him for the tiny amount of heroin (four baggies) they found on him. While Meeney suffered the first pangs of opioid withdrawal in a jail cell (imagine severe flu combined with anxiety and depression) the police humiliated him by tweeting a link to the video provided by the transit authority.

It went viral.

“VIDEO: Man shoots up, passes out on bus,” New Jersey television station WWOR reported.

“Guy Shoots Heroin On Bus, Keels Over (DISTURBING VIDEO),” shouted Huffington Post.

“He asked me how they could just use his video like that, without his permission, but since it happened in public they can do what they want with it,” said Bonner, who argued unsuccessfully at Meeney’s preliminary hearing that his client should be diverted into drug treatment instead of being locked up.

“They got him through [the overdose] and now they’re prosecuting him when what he really needs is help,” Bonner said.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael J. Chitwood defended his decision to release the video.

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“There is a lot of value in seeing how people who are addicted will go to whatever ends to use drugs,” he explained to a reporter, vowing to continue his strict policy of arresting addicts police find in possession of any amount of drugs.

Yet it’s hard to see any value in such exposure for Meeney, who will forever be defined by one of the most shameful experiences of his life.

Meeney isn’t the only drug user to become the unwilling face of America’s festering opioid problem. As policymakers struggle to rein in the addiction crisis, promising stories about the lifesaving potential of naloxone have been sullied by a torrent of overdose porn depicting its use in the field.

Since January the press has reported on no fewer than four similar cases of overdose reversals caught on video. Some were shot by bystanders using a smartphone.

In early February, a 25-year-old New Jersey woman achieved Internet notoriety after falling out in a parking lot in Paulsboro, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Her overdose was caught on video by a witness and posted the same day to YouTube.

Newspapers as far away as the United Kingdom picked up the story, publishing still shots of the victim—who has an 8-year-old daughter—lying prone on the asphalt, being tended to by rescue personnel with her naked torso in full view.

The video was shared more than 22,000 times on social media and sparked hundreds of comments, including several speculating what kind of diseases the girl might have and one calling her a “walking tombstone.”

The woman’s mother told The Daily Beast the past month has been an ordeal for the family, starting with being forced to see a loved one’s near-death experience replayed over and over.

“I didn’t know there was a video at first, I knew just she had overdosed,” said Kelly Hemphill. “The woman who shot it tracked me down and sent it to me. I didn’t watch it at first. When I finally did I was devastated.”

Kelly Hemphill said her daughter’s Facebook page was inundated with messages calling her a bad mother. Then the account was temporarily suspended after her daughter defended herself by going after her attackers. Hemphill told The Daily Beast she contacted a lawyer to determine what, if any, action she could take to get the video removed but was told it was legal under New Jersey’s wiretapping laws.

Hemphill—who is herself a recovering addict, and has been clean since 2008—said her daughter has been using heroin on and off for at least six years. She relapsed in 2014 after her father was killed in Staten Island by an off-duty police officer who was driving drunk and had been trying unsuccessfully to get help for her addiction prior to her overdose.

“For weeks we were trying to get her into treatment, but people don’t understand you can’t just walk up to rehab, knock on the door and they let you in,” said Hemphill. “All the rehabs we called in New Jersey, even after the overdose, they never even called her back.”

The video did finally open some doors. A nonprofit group in New Jersey helped arrange treatment for Hemphill’s daughter in Florida. She returns home this week. But she still faces scorn from people who don’t even know her. And evidence of her life as an addict will always be just a Google search away.

“I don’t see how we’ll ever be able to do anything about that,” Hemphill said. “I always wanted my daughter to be famous, but not like this. Why isn’t there something else that can make her memorable besides that video?”

Samantha Sitrin works for Prevention Point Philadelphia—a harm-reduction organization for drug users and sex workers that dispenses naloxone to individuals at high risk of overdose. She calls these videos “exploitative.”

“It’s not for the intention of getting them help or more resources for the future,” she said. “It’s an attention-grabbing way to get headlines without getting to the whole story.”

For many the “whole story” includes multiple encounters with the justice system that for decades has considered them “junkies,” who refuse to quit and are unworthy of compassion. They are in fact addicts who have cycled in and out of the criminal justice system for years thanks to long-standing drug policies that have viewed addiction as moral failure rather than a medical problem.

That’s Meeney’s story: more than a dozen cases on his rap sheet, mostly for drug possession and retail theft. Like many non-violent drug offenders, his periodic brushes with the law have been punctuated by stints in jail for not making court dates or for violating probation by getting rearrested.

A review of his docket sheet shows that at least four times since 2009 he has been ordered by a judge into drug treatment upon release from jail, only to be locked up again when he failed to complete the court-mandated program. As recently as last year the suburban Philadelphia county where he was adjudicated did not permit the use of maintenance drugs like methadone or Suboxone in their court-ordered treatment programs. Meeney is walking proof that many courts still only pay lip service to the idea of treating addiction like a medical issue.

Drug addicts can count on being treated like human beings at Prevention Point’s drop-in center, housed in the back of a church in a neighborhood known as the “Badlands” for its prevalence of crime, violence, and drugs. Just down the street is Huntingdon Station, where three weeks ago medics used Narcan to save a man who had overdosed on heroin on the train platform. That incident was also caught on video and was broadcast by local media, but police didn’t arrest the man or release his name.

On a recent afternoon drug addicts and prostitutes shared the sidewalk in front of the station with a pair of uniformed transit police who can do little more than monitor the flow of traffic in and out of the neighborhood. Many described struggling with addiction for years, and almost everyone who talked to The Daily Beast had overdosed at least once. Most said they had been brought back using Narcan.

Behind the heroic headlines about a miracle drug for addicts in distress is a complex reality that often reinforces stereotypes about opioid addiction when reported without proper context. For instance, to the uninformed, it is inconceivable that someone who nearly died from a drug would run out that very same day and buy more of it. Narcan works by binding to opioid receptors, blocking the effect of narcotics like heroin. In drug users with a physical dependency, it also has the effect of causing severe withdrawal symptoms. This all but guarantees that the first thing a user will think of after their overdose is reversed is getting another fix.

Carlos, a 52 year-old man with teardrop tattoos on his face, sells “works”—clean syringes—in front of Huntingdon Station. He said he has been using heroin for 20 years and has overdosed twice. One of those times he was revived with Narcan. He credits his mother for calling emergency personnel and saving his life, but cringed when he recalled the naloxone shot.

“It hurts, it hurts bad,” he said, making the gesture of stabbing a needle into his upper arm. “You wake right up, but you feel real bad. You sick now. Maybe the next day you can get better.”

Tammy, a tiny 19-year-old with fresh track marks on her arms, said she’d overdosed last year on the street just across from where we’re standing. Paramedics used Narcan to revive her. She described the experience as jarring.

“It’s snaps you right out, but now you’re sick,” she said. Tammy explained how EMTs took her to a nearby hospital for treatment, but her withdrawal symptoms were so bad she ran from the vehicle when it reached its destination. She says she tried shooting up to feel better but the naloxone in her system blocked the heroin.

“You could do 30 bags and you’re not going to feel nothing for hours,” she said.

That’s a potentially deadly hyperbole. According to documentation on the drug, naloxone actually has a half life of 60-90 minutes, so it wears off relatively quick. In fact some overdose victims run the risk of falling into distress again after a shot of Narcan as they attempt to counteract the effect of the drug and “get well” by using higher doses. However the initial impact can indeed be traumatic for heavy users. A video shot inside an emergency room in 2011 shows the extreme reaction that a dose of naloxone can provoke in a heavy opioid user.

Silvana Mazzella, program director at Prevention Point, says the group trains its participants to deliver Narcan in graduated doses designed to ease an overdose victim out of danger but stop short of precipitating full-blown withdrawal.

“What we try to do is look at the most creative way to get them stabilized and let them ride it out instead of putting them into the shock of withdrawal,” she said.

The group is budgeted to distribute 1,500 naloxone kits this year, she said, and its kits have been used to reverse more than 200 overdoses since the start of the year. According to Mazzella, one frequent visitor to the center has used its Narcan 70 times in 2016 alone to reverse overdoses.

Mazzella says Prevention Point has also been working with police to facilitate “warm hand-offs” between law enforcement and treatment professionals within a short period after an overdose is reversed. Philadelphia police—who began carrying naloxone kits last year—call emergency personnel to all overdose scenes, but the focus is typically on medical triage rather than addiction referral.

Meanwhile, several users told The Daily Beast that police officers sometimes use the drug irresponsibly to rouse addicts who are sleeping or nodding out in public. That claim is hard to independently verify, but Jeff Deeney, a treatment professional who works with drug-addicted populations in North Philadelphia, told The Daily Beast he has heard similar anecdotes from clients.

All these complexities get ignored when reporting on the dangers of heroin is presented in a narrow frame designed to elicit an emotional response.

Deeney, whose treatment facility dispenses the opioid replacement drug Suboxone, says the videos raise “serious ethical questions” about media coverage of the nation’s drug problem and reporting on criminal justice.

“When you see these viral OD videos you need to follow the story all the way to the end and find out what happened after the camera is turned off,” he said. “Did the police arrest the guy after reviving him? Did a parole or probation officer see the video and violate him back to prison? Was he subsequently victimized in jail? Did he ever get treatment? What if he didn’t want treatment and was forced to accept it as a result of the video?”

An overwhelming majority of Americans now believe drug addiction is a problem best left to doctors, not prosecutors. Whatever one thinks about the public benefit of broadcasting video without their consent of drug addicts overdosing, questions like these will surely become more important as the media takes a larger role in the national conversation on drug policy. If we’re serious about treating addiction like the medical issue it is, the attitude reflected by Upper Darby’s police superintendent won’t help.

At the press conference announcing Michael Meeney’s arrest, he asked rhetorically: “OK, we saved a life, for what? So that [he] can continue down a path of addiction?”

Drug users are human beings, many of whom have jobs and children and people in their lives who depend on them. There is far more to their lives than addiction—even when it’s caught on tape.

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/22/life-is-hell-after-narcan-heroin-s-miracle-cure.html

 

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