Opioid Epidemic

by Kyle Nelson

According to The Sun Chronicle, local officer John Grim revived an overdose victim at the Shell gas station next to the North Attleboro Showcase Cinemas. Grim used three doses of the opioid-reversing drug Narcan to help the man regain consciousness.

After the incident, he was brought to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro for treatment.  

A video emerged on YouTube of the heroic acts by the officer, captured by a local bystander at the gas station.

Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects opioids, was originally not administered to North Attleboro’s police officers. Mass.gov stated in the single year Narcan has been issued, the number of overdoses have been cut in half.
The opioid issue has grown in years across the country. According to Mass.gov, in North Attleboro alone the annual opioid death rate has increased from 2 to 26 in the last 10 years.

“It has been and continues to be a huge issue,” said local parent Donna Pereira. “It seems almost every week opioid overdoses is on the news.”

Around the school, even students are noticing that it’s a problem in today’s society.

“ I occasionally see articles about drug overdoses on social media too,” said senior Derek Shanks. “It’s awful that so many people get into these situations that they need to be revived by police officers and medics.”

Part of why the opioid epidemic is such an issue is due to how easy it is to access these drugs.

Opioid overdoses can be seen mainly in the middle class according to Mass.gov.  This is due to them having good health insurance, so if they get surgery or an injury these health insurance companies pay for them to get administered the opioids.

“They give you way more drugs than you actually need,” said Taunton junior Ella Sirois, who recently had surgery on her ankle. “The pain stopped way before I ran out of the drugs. They give you multiple brands and types of strong painkillers as well that I didn’t even use.”

As reported by NBC News, doctors are supposedly knocking down the amount of painkillers they prescribe to try and minimize this issue. This hopefully will limit the amount of overdoses like the one that occurred at the Shell station.

Although overdoses across the country continue to be an issue, with the addition of Narcan being administered to North Attleboro’s police officers, the overdose rate will hopefully go down.

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