First responders to heroin overdoses are not 911 responders. They are active heroin users, friends, family and neighbors. Today, all of these people can legally have Narcan – the drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdoses – in their hands.

Please contact your doctors to ask for a prescription. If you can’t afford it and are an active heroin user, you can become a client of the Portland Needle Exchange and get a Narcan kit for free. Hopefully, more organizations will offer this soon.

The law permitting this passed this spring (L.D. 140) and took effect Oct. 15. Perhaps your pharmacist can give directions on administering the medication.

Hopefully, there will be a quick and large response to this. Please share this information with everyone you know. I’ve learned of it recently and found that many care providers, including myself, are not informed.

There need not be any blame. Maybe if we are ready, we can help save the lives of our family members or someone else’s son or daughter.

Mary Bohon, LCSW

Saco