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The Opioid Chapters

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Check out this web site to read about eleven people affected by the opioid crisis, including a paramedic who injured his back on the job. The Opioid Chapters

Water

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The next drug to add to the EMS formulary should be water. That’s right. H20. How many times have you been on a call and the patient has asked for water only to be told by every EMS responder in the room, “No! You can’t drink anything!” Really? The reason we don’t let people drink […]

Fentanyl: The Real Deal

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Misinformation and inconsistent recommendations  regarding fentanyl have resulted in confusion in the first responder community. – Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders (Revised) from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. It seems every week responders are getting exposed to Fentanyl, being rushed to the hospital, with many getting Narcan, all often without exhibiting any symptoms […]

Diploma

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The man is on the nod, the only thing keeping him up is the fence he is leaning against. When the police officer tries to extricate him from the fence, he falls back and the officer has to lower him to the ground. I set my red bag down to get out my ambu-bag, but […]

Naloxone’s Effect on Opioid Use

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Does access to naloxone influence an opioid user’s decision to use? That is the crux of a recently published (on-line) economics paper, The Moral Hazard of Lifesaving Innovations: Naloxone Access, Opioid Abuse, and Crime, which argues that increasing access to Naloxone sanctions risky behavior, unintentionally increases opioid abuse, leads to greater crime, and may increase the […]

Hartford Opioid Crisis Interview

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One of my EMS coworkers and a budding journalist Sean Freiman interviewed me recently about Hartford’s Opioid Crisis with a focus on the heroin bags. Click on the picture to view the interview.  

Connecticut Overdose Deaths Plateau

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Overdose deaths are declining in some states, and they appear to be plateauing in Connecticut. Overdose Deaths Fall in 14 States In data released by the CDC, covering the time period July 2016-June 2017, 14 states showed a decline in overdose deaths, while nationwide deaths rose 14 percent. The data showed an 15.9% increase in […]

Mother and Son

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She curls on the couch sobbing. She found her son not breathing when she came home from her midnight shift. He is on the floor now.  The fire department first responders do compressions on his bare chest. The man is lean and muscled with jailhouse tattoos on his arms, chest, and neck. It isn’t a […]

Happy New Year

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On a private employees’ group Facebook page, an EMT posts a video of a man standing on a street corner, clearly on the nod, asleep on his feet. Another man sneaks up on the nodding man.  He reaches back and then slaps the heroin user hard across the face with an open fist. The victim […]

Angry Snowman: Naloxone Refusals

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An older man with a cell phone meets us at the door to the apartment lobby. His hands shake. He motions for us to follow toward the stairs. “What’s going on?” I ask. “I just went out for ten minutes and I came back and found him.” “Is he breathing?” I ask. But he does […]

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