The Narcan Experiment

Odyssey House President Dr. Peter Provet comments in The New York Times on a recent report (“If This Were an Overdose, Would You Help?” news article, May 10) on a controversial proposal to install lockboxes containing the opioid overdose antidote naloxone on the streets of Cambridge, MA. Dr. Provet argues that the public administration of naloxone could become a turning point in the opioid epidemic.

To the Editor:

The public administration of naloxone has the potential to be a turning point in the opioid epidemic. While overdose deaths continue to multiply throughout the country, a tipping point has yet to be reached regarding political resolve to fund treatment and a groundswell of public concern and compassion.

This experiment in Massachusetts to address the deadly consequences of addiction by empowering the public to administer a lifesaving dose of naloxone may be just what we need to get citizens involved in addressing our morass of addiction.

Ultimately, a vast number of lives will be saved only if the public comes to view addiction as a chronic relapsing disease that requires treatment that is coordinated, comprehensive and compassionate.

The writer is president and chief executive of Odyssey House.