There is a serious problem in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
As a 100% disabled veteran, I used to get a bottle of painkillers from my VA doctor every few years for extreme pain due to gout and kidney stones. When I recently received a box of two naloxone nasal sprays from the VA totally out of the blue and inquired as to why, I was told the medication was for overdoses. So now, after more than 40 years, I am a potential drug abuser?
When I challenged the issue, I was told that it is pretty much standard for anyone prescribed narcotics to receive the spray as an insurance policy in case of accidental overdose. This is pure garbage and a disservice to all veterans. I’m not a doctor, and I’ve never heard of anyone self-administering this spray and saving his or her own life. The insinuation that I might need the medication to help a friend who has overdosed is even more insulting.
As a former law enforcement officer, I believe this may be tantamount to encouraging the practicing of medicine without a license. Any gullible person following the government’s logic could be liable if they do as asked here, especially if they give naloxone to someone they think is overdosing but is actually suffering a heart attack, allergic reaction or some other medical condition.
My strong suggestion to all is this: Do not to carry around this medication thinking you will save a life. You may take one instead.
GREGORY J. TOPLIFF
Aiken, South Carolina
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