Doctor’s dilemma: Send heroin OD patients home with antidote?

From the Tribune:

It’s a doctor’s dilemma: Should heroin overdose patients be sent home from the emergency room with an antidote to help them survive the next episode, a high risk for an addict always chasing a high?

There’s no question that naloxone, an effective antidote for opioid overdoses, can often save lives, as recent cases have demonstrated in the rash of overdoses plaguing the metro area.

But should health providers routinely dispense the kits when releasing patients from the emergency room, where overdose victims often are taken by paramedics, friends or family members — a well-intentioned act that could be seen as encouraging reckless behavior?

That’s a debate now unfolding in the emergency departments at Sanford Health and Essentia Health in Fargo, where a steady stream of heroin overdose cases keep coming, and the community is grasping for solutions.

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