The Maine legislature is working to create laws putting an anti-overdose drug in the hands of paramedics, firefighters, police, and families of at-risk individuals, trying to save lives after heroin overdose cases quadrupled in their state from 2011 to 2012.
Luckily, Maine governor Paul LePage is a hero. He’s already said he would veto the bill when it reaches his desk, which would fall in line with previous actions he’s taken.
His concern is simple: with a safety net like that, people could be more likely to use heroin.
Naloxone, which also goes by the brand name Narcan, has been proven to bring users back from death if administered in time. And that’s exactly why LePage, a self-styled “drug warrior,” doesn’t want it spreading out.
It makes sense. If you know overdosing isn’t a threat, you’re much more likely to shoot up with even more heroin. This life-saving drug is just an incentive to take more risks and do more drugs. Common sense says that. No scientific studies show that–and in fact they show the opposite–but you have to trust your gut over science, I always say.
That’s also why I’m against antibiotics. If you give people something to make them healthy, it just encourages to keep taking actions that make them sick.
Similarly, letting people take showers just encourages them to get dirty.
Putting air bags in cars just encourages them to get into crashes.
Giving people water to drink just encourages them to get thirsty! We need to eliminate all these safety nets!
Beyond this common sense, science can’t argue with the numbers. If someone overdoses from heroin and is brought back to life, there’s a good chance they’ll go back to using heroin. If they aren’t brought back to life, they’re no longer going to use. That’s a clear reduction in drug numbers right there.
And LePage is all about reducing drug numbers in his state. Last year he vetoed a so-called “Good Samaritan” law that would have provided immunity from drug laws for someone calling 911 to get aid for someone who overdosed. LePage said it could cause an unnecessary barrier for law enforcement. In this case, LePage was tougher on crime than cops, who voiced no objections to the bill. Police departments in other states have even embraced similar laws. Thanks, Obama!
Make no mistake, this veto would come from the heart. In addition to providing less incentive to do drugs in the first place, LePage has the interest of current users at heart. An administration official argued against the bill by saying that naloxone can cause an overdose victim to become violent or ill. Nobody wants that. Just because LePage doesn’t want to coddle drug abusers doesn’t mean he wants them to suffer. It’s better for everyone if they just stay dead.