Saturday, August 5, 2017

Lazarus-Narcan parties dangerously on the rise

Charlotte NC Aug 5 2017
Rick McCann MS CLEI
Law Enforcement Officer FF/EMTP

In 2016 we reported that several state emergency medical systems had seen a number of “Lazarus” or Narcan parties springing up within their communities.
These drug parties are held where Opioid users gather and intentionally overdose on Heroin in hopes that a nearby sober, non-user with Narcan waiting in the wings would bring them back from the brink of death.
In some cases, parties are held in a public place, in hopes that a Good Samaritan would call for an ambulance and that they would be snapped back to life by paramedics using this “miracle” drug call Naloxone.
Reports of these near death parties have been reported from Texas to Connecticut and EMS providers are now seeing that some of the people that they are saving are actually repeat patients.
A paramedic in North Carolina told me that one patient said that he was not afraid to allow himself to be “so far gone” because the area EMS staff has saved many overdose victims in recent months. He even parked across the street from a local fire station in one of his “Narc Parties”.
This is a very dangerous game that people are playing with their lives said Sandy Cline, a substance abuse counselor.
It's like playing Russian Roulette. There's no way of knowing how many doses of narcan will work if any. In addition, you have to get to the hospital after taking a dose of narcan because it wears off quickly and could send you back into an overdose.
Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration are well aware of these “parties” but say that they are very hard to track because they sporadically pop up and can happen anyplace at any time.
Anytime you have something good, a criminal will capitalize on that and use it to their own advantage, said a DEA agent.
Naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, is a fast-acting drug that reverses the effects of heroin and prescription painkiller overdoses and restores breathing. As a result, naloxone has become prevalent, but lately not for the reasons intended.
Naloxone sprays are now readily available over the counter in numerous states making it easy for drug users to purchase and misuse.

These so called parties are being called Narcan parties, narc-me parties, and Lazarus parties like the bible story where Lazarus was raised from the dead.

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