A Weymouth firefighter has claimed drug addicts shouldn’t be saved after suffering an overdose, sparking a social media storm following his controversial statements.
Mark A. Carron infuriated thousands of people and most likely committed career suicide, after complaining on Facebook about the fact that drug addicts get to be revived using Narcan (naloxone), after overdosing on opioids such as heroin, codeine, Vicodin, oxycodone, morphine and methadone.
In his deeply offensive post, Carron described Narcan as the “worst drug ever”, because it gives those who abuse drugs a second shot at life, instead of just letting them pay for their mistakes and die.
The firefighter also lamented the fact that he’s never been paid extra for saving the lives of such addicts, and argued that many people who suffer overdoses resume their drug habit just hours afterwards.
Despite the fact that Carron quickly deleted his status update, overwhelmed by a wave of negative reactions, by then a screenshot of the inflammatory message had already been taken, and soon turned viral, being distributed by hundreds of outraged Facebook users.
Eventually the post was also brought to the attention of the Weymouth Fire Department. Officials decided that Carron should be placed on unpaid suspension for the following 90 days, and afterwards be demoted to a desk job.
In addition, Robert L. Hedlund, the Mayor of Weymouth, Massachusetts also announced that the firefighter would have to take part in group therapy in order to become more sensitive and accepting towards others.
Moreover, Carron would have to receive social media guidance, so as to learn how to exert his freedom of speech, without being offensive or putting his entire department in a bad light.
The punishment was seen as overly lax by some, who have said that the Weymouth firefighter should’ve been fired for his hateful assertions; others on the other hand have argued that Carron should be granted a second chance, similarly to the way Narcan also gives drug addicts a new lease on life.
Meanwhile, Keith Stark, fire chief at the Weymouth Fire Department emphasized that Carron’s callous remarks are under no circumstances representative of the mindset that the rest of his colleagues have, and are simply the expression of just one person’s misdirected anger and frustration.
While some emergency workers agreed that at times drug addicts quickly return to the opioids that nearly led to their demise, they declared that it would be completely heartless to deny persons on the brink of death the treatment that could save their life, no matter how often it has already been administered to them before.
By and large, among all his fellow firefighters, Carron’s statements were deemed deeply insensitive, especially to those who have lost loved ones following a drug overdose.
That opinion was also shared by representatives of various nonprofit groups and charities assisting drug addicts and their families.
For instance, Joanne Peterson, executive director of the Learn to Cope organisation, has declared that it’s very likely that Carron never had a family member or a friend suffer a deadly overdose, because otherwise he would surely be much less cynical and much more empathetic about the terrible plight represented by drug addiction.
Across the state of Massachusetts, throughout the year 2014, over 1,000 people have passed away after abusing heroin, Oxycontin and other opioids, and authorities believe mortality rates have been even more elevated in 2017.
In Weymouth only, between 2013 and 2014, 185 opioid addicts suffered overdoses, of which 24 were fatal, as revealed by the Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health.
It’s therefore obvious that the number of deaths could’ve been much higher in the absence of Narcan, which is often administered during drug emergencies, acting like a true lifeline by reversing the effects of powerful opioids.
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