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Letter: Narcan kits are life-savers

The letter writer is off base when he suggests that the distribution of Narcan kits to reverse potentially fatal drug overdoses might actually increase substance abuse ["Narcan kits are two-edged sword," Oct. 11]. That's the same mindset that allowed HIV/AIDS to kill Americans as we bickered about whether a piece of latex would encourage people to become promiscuous.

Think about it. We don't all drive faster because our cars are equipped with airbags, nor do we eat more cheeseburgers because there's an automated external defibrillator bolted to the wall in our corporate cafeteria.

Addiction is an inherently irrational brain disease; potentially avoiding death doesn't encourage drug use any more than the fear of death stops it. Addiction, however, is also treatable and needn't prove fatal.

Too many Long Island families are losing the race against time as they beg, plead and try to cajole a loved one into treatment for a disease whose calling-card is massive denial. Too many young people never make it through the doors of a treatment center, never come face to face with a counselor and never get a shot at experiencing the miracle of recovery.

Narcan kits save lives, create new opportunities for recovery and enable families to arrange treatment instead of a funeral.

Jeffrey L. Reynolds, Mineola

Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence.