On July 15 here in Falmouth, a man deep in the throes of the insidious and baffling ravages of addiction, overdosed on heroin while driving his car on Ter Heun Drive, resulting in an overturned vehicle, a snapped utility pole, and the closure of the road. The first responders on the scene provided first aid, including multiple doses of Narcan, an opiate antidote commonly used to revive patients who have overdosed and lost consciousness. These days, most police departments and nearly all fire and rescue departments stock Narcan in all vehicles to be able to respond and revive.
In an important and courageous move, the Falmouth Police Department posted an update with a photo of the overturned vehicle on its Facebook page. Posts like this are an important reminder of the everyday impacts of addiction in our community, the realness and rawness of the struggle right here in Falmouth, and the value of social media in highlighting this public health crisis. The Falmouth PD is a leader in developing community-based solutions and should be lauded for its efforts.
The response to the police department’s post, however, was anything but courageous. The dangerous and troubling combination of ignorance and vitriol expressed in response to the police department’s post suggests that much more work needs to be done to educate, engage, and enlighten the public on the disease of addiction.
One poster who identifies himself as Stephen Bird heartlessly and callously suggested that “Narcan is half the problem let the killer drug kill them it’s simple junkies will become extinct by the nature of there (sic) drug of choice!!!” As if that uninformed and draconian post wasn’t bad enough, it gained 15 “likes” and several supportive comments in response.
Yet another post, from someone identified as Deborah McKie, flatly declared that “No…