If you visit a vending machine in San Diego over the next year, be sure it’s the right kind. Otherwise, you may end up at an overdose prevention station.
As relayed by The San Diego Union-Tribune, SD County will install a dozen machines by next summer, all dispensing Naloxone.
From the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist. This means that it attaches to opioid receptors and reverses and blocks the effects of other opioids. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose. … Examples of opioids include heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, and morphine.
The first machine will be placed at the McAlister Institute South Bay Regional Recovery Center in Chula Vista. Other locations haven’t yet been named, but five more are planned by 2022’s end.
The drug — under the brand name Narcan — will be offered as a nasal spray. If it’s administered quickly, it can indeed save someone’s life.
In a statement last week, the county’s chief population health officer, Nicole Esposito, praised the product and punctuated the need for it:
“Naloxone is a proven life saver in overdose situations. The enhanced distribution of naloxone into the hands of community members is vital in saving lives that might otherwise be lost to overdose.”
That sounds good, but how did we arrive here — at a place where so many are addicted to drugs that we’re having to make death-defying treatment available like Pepsi?
It seems to me we got here by never asking — between the beginning and now — how we got to each point along the way. Our society appears increasingly good at responding to problems, and progressively bad at preventing them — or having the courage to even point them out until they’ve reached crisis level.
Make no mistake — the crisis is here:
The vending machines are part of a larger countywide effort to make 33,000 Narcan kits available by June 30, 2023.
The Union-Tribune reports the machines will distribute free Narcan to anyone over 18, and an online course will be required before use. After its completion, an individual will be given a PIN number that will authorize a machine.
San Diego is deploying Narcan vending machines across the county to help combat a 55% increase in overdose deaths from 2020 to 2021. Read more: https://t.co/oZF5GVezkZ
— Voices for Non-Opioid Choices (@nonopioidchoice) August 3, 2022
In 2019, the Times of San Diego observed a new day:
[S]an Diego is California’s second-largest city, but in a sense remains an isolated, almost self-contained, outpost.
An ocean to the west, an international border to the south, a mountainous and forbidding desert to the east and the Marine Corps’ massive Camp Pendleton to the north wall off San Diego from the rest of California. …
As it happens, San Diego is in the midst of a political evolution. The city and the surrounding San Diego County have been politically conservative for most of its history, and the rural portions of the county still are. But the city has turned blue, thanks to a political awakening of its Latino population, organizational efforts by unions and demographic and economic changes.
The impact of left-wing leadership can be seen in the educational arena. As I covered recently, the San Diego Unified School District is now training teachers to inculcate children on gender identity and neopronouns.
From the official district instruction, as obtained by City Journal’s Christopher Rufo:
The Gender Binary is a social construct that situates “male” and “female” as synonymous with “man” and “woman” and dictates how people assigned to these categories should act. This limited system excludes and oppresses trans, nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people.
The training provides three sample questions a teacher must be prepared to answer from the kids, one of which is this:
What does semen taste like?
- What might be the intent of the question?
- What knowledge do they need to make healthy choices?
- How could you make your response inclusive of all students?
- How would you respond?
Back to Narcan machines, Nicole Esposito notes that the idea is for addicts to take the training and get the nasal spray ahead of their overdose. Then when it occurs, they’ll be ready.
And a lot of people will need to be ready:
The efforts come during a time when opioid-related drug overdoses are on the rise.
County data show that 900 people in the region died from accidental opioid overdoses in 2021, a 55 percent increase from the previous year.
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