Author's Experience With Opioids

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With the opioid epidemic in America reaching new heights, people in the areas most affected are arming themselves with Narcan. Narcan is an opiate antagonist nasal spray that turns junkies back into a sober samuels. Although Narcan has provided some relief, the epidemic continues to worsen and is now claiming unexpected casualties: People with inner ear infections.

Before the rise of opioid addiction, I was able to stumble to and fro without attracting much attention. But now I can’t trip 10 feet without some hot-shot EMS worker trying to save me from an imagined overdose. And while I’m sympathetic to those suffering from addiction, quite frankly, I’m sick of being mistaken for a drug addict. I am a law abiding citizen whose only “crime” is being easily disoriented by swift movements of the head and not being able to sit for long car rides. As if having an inner-ear infection wasn’t painful enough, I now have to constantly look over my shoulder, at the risk of falling over, so that I don’t get a nose full of Narcan.

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The first time it happened to me, I wrote it off as a harmless oversight. In fact, I admired how dedicated my public servants were to public safety. But it seemed like every other day, I was being held down by some beefy EMS worker and having Narcan shot up my nose. Despite there being nothing for me to “come out” of, they’d always demand to know what pills I’ve taken, and I’d bark, “Dramamine! I have a prescription!”

After awhile I found myself yelling at every approaching EMT, “I’m not on heroin!” but my protests were always brushed off. I’ve since learned that saying you’re not on heroin is the exact sort of thing someone on heroin would say. Despite these uncomfortable encounters I’ve tried to remain calm, but recently I’ve reached a breaking point. Earlier this week, an EMT worker rushed out of his ambulance to come to my “assistance” after he noticed I was staggering outside of my local Papa John’s. And while no balloons or streamers were brought to mark this time, it was the 100th time this year my day was interrupted with a spritz of Narcan up the schnoz. Once again, I was left with a wet nose and a half-hearted apology from another disappointed EMT.

I’ve tried everything to guard against these attacks. I’ve tried plugging my nose up with cotton balls before every visit to Papa John’s. I’ve tried running away (but I’d only be able to manage a few steps before my inner ear fluid would betray me). And, in a last ditch effort, I even tried to administer the Narcan myself and play the part of junkie awakening from a drug-induced stupor. “Ugh, much better now, thanks. No need for any additional Narcan here, I’m certainly not on heroin anymore. Thank God for Narcan.” But EMS would always give me a supplemental shot of the anti-overdose medication because “you can never have too much Narcan.” And that’s simply not true; you can, and I have.

Because of these Narcan attacks, I’ve been ostracized by my community, fired from my job, and shunned by my family. It seems as if everybody thinks of me as some accident-prone Diesel fiend. Luckily, I’ve found something that has eased the stress and anxiety caused by these unpleasant interactions. In fact, it has eased every stress I’ve ever had. And that thing is heroin. That’s right. I am now hopelessly addicted to heroin. But, on a positive note, heroin is much more effective than dramamine at treating inner ear infections. Thanks to heroin I’ve been completely cured of my dizzy spells. In fact, I quite enjoy long car rides…just as long as I have a little bit of that sweet Salt. And now when an EMS worker shoots Narcan up my nose, I appreciate it. After I’m ripped from the heavenly embrace of this wonderful narcotic, I like to give the EMS a little wink as if to say, “hey, next time the Papa Johns is on me.” 


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