Boston Hospital Tries New Approach to Address On-Site ODs

Security officers now carry an opiate antidote so they can save the lives of drug users who overdose.

In an attempt to keep themselves from overdosing on drugs, addicts have started shooting up in the bathrooms, halls and parking facilities of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Although the number of ODs is still relatively low, staff have noticed an increase in the past 18 months.

The Boston Herald reports that some drug users who shoot up in MGH bathrooms are tying emergency pull cords to their bodies so alarms will sound if they collapse after an OD.

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The increase in drug users shooting up has prompted the hospital to train its security officers to carry and administer the opiate antidote Narcan. MGH adopted this approach because of its size and the time it takes for drug abusers who OD to be taken to the emergency room.  If it takes too long for patients to be admitted to the ED, they could die.

Boston Medical Center started equipping its security officers with Narcan last year, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital started dispensing Narcan and training information to patients in the emergency department last week.

From 2012-2014, accidental opioid deaths in Massachusetts increased 65 percent.

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