Witnessing the opiate epidemic firsthand

I’m sharing something I posted on my Facebook news page last weekend. I just finished working a 10-day stretch so I didn’t have much time to post to my blog this week. But wow – what I saw is something I will never forget! This happened last Saturday the 8th outside of the CVS at the corner of Elmwood Ave and Amherst in Buffalo:

As many of you are aware, the opioid epidemic is a huge problem in WNY and across the country. As a member of the media I am quite familiar with how large the problem is, given it is mentioned in our newscasts on what feels like a daily basis. But today I witnessed it firsthand. As I was walking into CVS on Elwmood earlier this afternoon, two men ran towards me with a man in their arms. They frantically yelled “Call 9-1-1, we think he overdosed on heroin.” I called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher the address, and the man’s condition. He was in rough shape. He was barely breathing, his eyes were rolled back, and he was starting to turn blue. It was terrifying. He looked young too, I’d guess he’s in his 20’s or early 30’s. Police made it there within minutes, but it felt like an eternity. I was scared for this man’s life. Death seemed closer with every passing second. The officer gave him narcan, and within a minute he started to gain consciousness. I saw someone nearly die and come back to life. He was able to walk and get himself onto the stretcher. I was so relieved to see he survived, and grateful for the first responders who made it there in time to save his life. I was shaking for quite a bit after I saw that happen today. It’s a reminder that life is precious and this epidemic needs to be taken very seriously. That man who nearly died today is someone’s son. If you know someone who has a problem, do what you can to get them help. I’ll never forget what I saw today. Major credit is due to first responders who see this all too often and save lives every day.

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