A pharmacy with compassion to spare

The Klein's ShopRite's decision to offer free, life-saving opioid-reversing Narcan is compassionate and courageous in many ways ("Some pharmacies in Harford offer free Narcan doses," Feb. 15).

First, from a health care, addiction treatment perspective, Narcan, also known as naloxone, provides another opportunity to help an overdose victim to stay alive, get treatment and start a life of sober recovery. If a loved one with substance use disorder — the most severe level of drug abuse — dies from an overdose, it is a tragedy that cannot be reversed.

Second, Klein’s ShopRite's action is a real-world example of how the business sector can take positive action to address the opioid epidemic that is truly ravaging Maryland and our nation. By strengthening its partnering with the Harford County Health Department, these pharmacies add an important component to how our overall community of public, private, faith-based agencies, and civic groups can work together to save lives and help families.

Every business, every church and synagogue, every community-based organization can take specific steps to reverse and reduce the scourge of opioid and other drug addiction. Many already do so and deserve our thanks and appreciation. Yet, the escalating number of overdoses and the spread of substance abuse to more neighborhoods, more families, more hospital emergency departments demands that all of us need to redouble our efforts.

Don Mathis, Havre de Grace

The writer is president of Addiction Connections Resource in Harford County.

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