Dear Madam/Sir (I am so freaking sick of Sir coming first. For God sakes it is 2016. Can’t Madam come first for once?)
I would like to come forward to address the epipen vs Narcan controversy. Actually, I don’t want to address it because it is a ridiculous and unrealistic debate. I would like to address the absurdly inappropriate silent stance our state has taken. I see on social media sites that our government officials push their political propaganda to propose the latest popular regulation or law in an effort to collect more votes. I often see the traditional picture of my senator giving candy to a baby or participating in the Veterans parade, though not actually fighting for Veterans rights which are a letter for another day. What I don’t see, and is absolutely needed, is someone with authority and knowledge to put the fire out between the new mommies with the peanut allergies and the suffering mommies with the drug addict kids. This is not an either or debate. And the government, our state of Massachusetts, knows that, and is watching people compare apples and oranges silently. Shame on you.
The facts are that Narcan is only available now because it is funded by Department of Public Health. Massachusetts is one of the only states I know of that does that. In many states it is illegal to be in possession of Narcan. The kits cost about $75 and are now funded because many families, and addicts, and medical professionals fought for the right for those in need to have it available at the ready. Many, many addicts died before it was funded. It took many years for that to happen. It took funding efforts, and proof that addicts were more than the sum of the horrendous things that they do while using. Once again, because Big Pharma has jacked up the price of something that has nothing to do with addicts at all, addicts are reduced to nothing, worthy of nothing, and are the product of nothing. This is not accurate. Addicts are people. They were people before they were addicts. Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends, lovers, spouses, partners, neighbors, who had lives and contributed to the world as we all do. They all have the potential to continue to contribute to the world but they need that opportunity. Narcan is giving them an opportunity in a moment, at a time, in the situation when they have no faith in themselves.
In no way does that have anything at all to do with someone having access to an Epipen. Parents, patients with allergies, medical personnel who feel strongly should get out there to fight for their rights exactly the same way the addiction family had to for theirs. It is criminal to inflate the price of a medication that any person needs for life saving issues. No matter the reason; Whether it is chemo for a lung cancer patient who still smokes, for a Narcan to an addict, insulin pumps for diabetics that won’t change their diet or people with allergies who have no control over their allergy at all. Parents up in arms about epipen being outrageously high in cost have a right to be outraged. But they do not have a right to compare it to Narcan. They have a right to put their fight (and their mouth is) up with those that control such things: the state, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies. Leave addicts and their families alone. And passive aggressive meme’s on Facebook are childish, also they show nothing but keyboard courage so grow up. I will say it since clearly, our government won’t.
Stop watching people pitting each other’s kids illnesses against each other like a good Jerry Springer show. Do the responsible thing as the leaders of our state and lead. Your silence is cowardly and unjust. And it makes you look like a donkey’s ass.
A mother sick and tired of watching the news and seeing people die while politicians use the opiod epidemic as a platform to get votes while not actually doing anything to help a specific person. Also, I’m tired of seeing articles in the newspaper that follow addicts, exposing their dirty secrets, and their awful times, so the world knows what they are going through but never finishes with an Oprah-like ending by helping them get an apartment, or an education, or into a good rehab but simply says how bad that sucks and fairly-well while walking away. A mother, who works hard, prays hard, chases demons from her children, and forgets what a regular life looks life while the politicians that run my state vacation on the Vineyards. A mother who wants people to wake up and smell the shit, not the coffee, because shit stinks and it isn’t going away on its own. A mother is who going to start voting for herself because I think I could do a better job at this point.