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Letter to the Editor: Maroon


October 24, 2019

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To the Editor:

When Blue Mountain Heart to Heart and other participating sites around the state gave our Narcan to law enforcement units, we did it on the agreement that it could be used both in the field to support laypeople in overdose, or to rescue a fellow officer should such a need arise. More precisely, we expected the medication would be used to reverse overdoses agnostic of whether that person was a law enforcement officer or not. At the time I distributed the naloxone to the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office, nobody brought up this idea of individuals becoming physically aggressive, although there is copious anecdotal evidence that some people are angry (anger being an emotion distinct from physical aggression). When officers in our program use Narcan in the field, they are required to complete a survey/report on what happened with that Narcan. Out of 100 law enforcement surveys on using Narcan in the field, 76 officers completed the question, "If the victim woke up, which of these did he/she display?" As you will see from the chart of responses (officers could select more than one response), physical aggression received the smallest number of counts, behind gratitude, withdrawal symptoms, and anxiety. While "anger" was widely reported, I'll just note that it was far more likely than physical aggression, so yes, some people are mad upon waking up but not to the point that they aggress against the officer or first responder.

Everett Maroon

Executive Director, Blue Mountain Heart to Heart


Reader Comments

Connect writes:

Thank you Everett Maroon for a detailed letter to the editor informing readers of the history of police deliberating on providing Narcan to victims of opioid overdoses. This will be instructive and helpful information as Waitsburg moves forward in broadening improved public health services to citizens.


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