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Harm Reduction

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Two words people in EMS interested in battling the opiate overdose epidemic should know are “HARM REDUCTION.” According to the Harm Reduction Coalition, harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm reduction “accepts, for better and or worse, that licit and illicit drug […]

Novel Vagal Maneuver

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I never had great luck with vagal maneuvers.  Admittedly when I was a new medic, I didn’t particularly want them to work.  I wanted to give Adenosine, and watch the strip suddenly go asystole and then some wild funky beats before correcting to a nice sinus tack in the 120’s, way better than the 200’s […]

Narcan 4mg IN

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I was a big initial fan of the intranasal atomizers both for pain management and opiate overdoses.  I liked them for pain management for their quick access.  I often gave an intranasal dose, and then after getting an IV, gave the rest IV.  Overtime I noticed quite a difference in response between the two methods. […]

Hear the Drumming

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Another three dead of heroin overdoses in Hartford in the last 16 hours.  The slaughter continues.  Hartford led the state in overdose deaths in 2015 with 56.  The 2016 numbers, which are not complete, are estimated to be in the high 70s.  Already there have been 5 known heroin deaths in 2016.   I recently […]

Snowbank

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It is six in the morning and we get called for an overdose outside.  The address is not a surprise — a side street off Park.  Yet when we arrive, we find no one.  We are about to clear when a police officer who has also responded finds a backpack in the snow and sure […]

OxyContin Worldwide

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As the opiate epidemic fueled by the overprescription of Oxycontin and the false claims of its safety is devastating our country, the Los Angeles Times is reporting the drug companies are now aggressively marketing the controversial painkiller overseas, using the same tactics they employed in this country. OxyContin goes global — “We’re only just getting started” Read the entire […]

50,000 Dead-2015 CDC Overdose Report

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52,404 Americans died of preventable drug overdoses in 2015, an 11% increase over 2015 according to a report released December 16, 2016 by the Centers for Disease Control. The death rate from synthetic opiates rose a chilling 73%. Overdose deaths now far outstrip car crash fatalities (37,757) and gun deaths (36,252). Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved […]

Hartford Police to Carry Narcan

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  When I started as a paramedic in Hartford in 1995, only paramedics carried Naloxone.  Today, BLS ambulances carry it as well as our first responding Hartford Fire Department.  A month from now, our Hartford Police Department officers will also carry it.  This is a good thing. Hartford Police Begin Carrying Naloxone As Drug Overdose Deaths […]

THE NEUROBIOLOGY OF SUBSTANCE USE, MISUSE, AND ADDICTION

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  I used to believe that addiction was a character flaw, and that the drug fiends I treated on the streets of Hartford were there due to their own poor choices.  That doesn’t mean I treated them badly. I have always tried to treat all my patients as if I were treating members of my […]

A Life Saved

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A 24 year old man from one of Hartford’s suburbs had his life saved by a newspaper. He got into heroin five years ago through, in his own words “stupidity.”   While many get into it through injury, a doctor’s prescription exposing them to opiates, taking too many, becoming addicted, getting cut off or needing […]

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