Reply
Honored Social Butterfly

Make Sure You Are Prepared When Entering Some Public Bathrooms

That is to say, have your life-saving process ready and sound the alarm.  Pack some naloxone in your purse just in case you need to save a life.  

 

We we definitely have a problem - so what do you think about these "safe places" for addicts to shoot up but yet be monitored for overdose?    It won't do much for helping them change their behavior but they might live another day perhaps to a day when they will want to save their own life and stop using.

But it is hard . . . . VERY HARD.  The only disease where the treatment, the continuous cure, has to come from within their own soul, mind and body.

 

WBUR Public Radio 04/03/2017 - Public BathroomsmBecome Ground Zero In the Opioid Epidemic

 

" Many businesses don't know what else to do. Some have installed low lighting, blue in particular, to make it difficult for drug users to find a vein.

 

The city of Cambridge plans to install a "Portland Loo" in the heart of Central Square by the end of the summer. Some business owners hope it will relieve pressure on their bathrooms. Others worry it will become a haven for drug use.

 

. . . . The bathrooms at 1369 Coffee House in Central Square are still open for customers who request the key code from staff at the counter. Owner Joshua Gerber has done some remodeling to make the bathrooms safer. There's a metal box in the wall next to his toilet for needles and other things that clog pipes. And Gerber removed the dropped ceilings in his bathrooms after noticing things tucked above the tiles.

 

"We’d find needles or people’s drugs," Gerber says. "It’s a tricky thing, managing a public restroom in a big, busy square like Central Square where there’s a lot of drug use."

 

Gerber and his staff have found several people, on the bathroom floor in recent years, not breathing.

 

"It’s very scary," Gerber says. His eyes drop briefly. "In an ideal world, users would have safe places to go that it didn’t become the job of a business to manage that and to look after them and make sure that they were OK."

 

There are such safe use places in Canada and some European countries, but not in the U.S. So Gerber is taking the unusual step of training his baristas to use naloxone, the drug that reverses most opioid overdoses. He sent a training invitation email to all employees last week.

 

. . . .  Naloxone has become standard equipment for security guards at many hospitals in the Boston area.

 

. . . . Mass General began training security guards after emergency room physician Dr. Ali Raja realized that the hospital’s bathrooms had become a safe haven for some of his overdose patients.

 

Many businesses, including hospitals and clinics, don’t want to talk about overdoses within their buildings. Curran wants to be sure Mass General's message on drug use is clear.

 

"We don’t want to promote, obviously, people coming here and using it, but if it’s gonna happen, then we’d like to be prepared to help them and save them and get them to the ED [Emergency Department] as fast as possible," Curran says.

 

Speed is critical, especially now, when heroin is routinely mixed with fentanyl. Some clinics and restaurants check on bathroom users by having staff knock on the door after 10 or 15 minutes, but fentanyl can lead to oxygen-deprived brain death within that window. One clinic has installed an intercom and requires people to respond. Another has designed a reverse motion detector that sets off an alarm if there’s no movement in the bathroom.

 

During an epidemic, you might think public health officials would issue safety practices for bathrooms but there's very little discussion of the problem in public.

 

Here's why.

"It’s against federal and state law to provide a space where people can use knowingly, so that is a big deterrent from people talking about this problem," says Dr. Alex Walley, director of the addiction medicine fellowship at Boston Medical Center.

 

Without some guidance, more libraries, town halls and businesses are closing their bathrooms to the public. That means more drug use, injuries and discarded needles in parks and on city streets.

 

Walley and other physicians who work with addiction patients say there are lots of ways to make bathrooms safer for the public and for drug users. A model restroom would be clean and well-lit with stainless steel surfaces — but few cracks and crevices for hiding drug paraphernalia. It would have a bio hazard box for needles and bloodied swabs. It would be stocked with naloxone and perhaps sterile water. The door would open out so that a collapsed body would not block entry. It would be easy to unlock from the outside. And it would be monitored, preferably by a nurse or EMT.

 

In the area around Boston Medical Center, wholesalers, gas station owners and industrial facilities are looking into renting portable bathrooms.

 

"They're very concerned for their businesses," says Sue Sullivan, director of the Newmarket Business Association, which represents 235 companies and 28,000 employees. "But they don't want to just move the problem. They want to solve the problem."

 

Some doctors, nurses and public health workers who help addiction patients every day argue the solution will have to include safe injection sites, where drug users can get high with medical supervision.

 

"There are limits to better bathroom management," says Daniel Raymond, deputy director for policy and planning at the New York-based Harm Reduction Coalition. If communities like Boston start to reach a breaking point with bathrooms, "having dedicated facilities like safer drug consumption spaces is the best bet for a long-term structural solution that I think a lot of business owners could buy into."

 

Maybe. No business groups in Massachusetts have come out in support of such spaces yet."

 

 

 

Honored Social Butterfly

Gail1--Thank you for this article.  This is reminiscent of all thse old programs that provide clean needles. 

 

In a wide ranging meeting I attended over the weekend, the producer/writer/director of a local play based on the lives of drug addicted citizens in our commuity 9Yes, these people came forth and freely talked off their plight), discussed not only free needles, but free naloxone kits, hoping that our community could provide both, while, at the same time, providing drug counseling and offerings of rehab programs. 

After the play, a location has been reserved so that interested people may discuss the above situations. 

Some people can be soo awesome, it can almost, but not quite, make you forget about the ones who see others in need as a burden or beneath them.

Thanks again, Gail!!

Gee, I miss having a real President!!
Trusted Social Butterfly

I don't get this. Opiod epidemic? Public bath rooms? Epidemic? That implies huge medical problem. What medical problem? What is the CDC doing about it? Where did it come from? How is it spead? The commode seat?

 

 

0 Kudos
660 Views
4
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

There is no rush for junkies to OD in the public john - they shoot up in hospital parking lots BECAUSE that's where they have their best chance of getting timely treatment so they can OD again tomorrow (or later today, depending on their financia lsituation).

 

Back in the 60's Nixon declaired War on Drugs That Hippies and Black People Use. That stupid racist war has continued for half a century, destroyed more minority families than slavery, wasted more money than jrbush's Wars for Oil, and given the USA a Gulaug Archapeligo bigger than Stalin ever dreamed possible.

 

The obvious and proven solution is DECRIMINALIZATION. GOPers will never go along with solving the problem because their owners make too much money with their for-profit prisons, so if a solution is what you want, don't EVER vote for another Republican and the problem will be solved.

Honored Social Butterfly


@alotofgrey wrote:

I don't get this. Opiod epidemic? Public bath rooms? Epidemic? That implies huge medical problem. What medical problem? What is the CDC doing about it? Where did it come from? How is it spead? The commode seat?

 

 


The opoid thing comes from accidental prescription opoid painkiller overdoses.

Some drug manufacturers overstated how long their medication effectively reduced pain, which caused the doctor to unknowingly underprescribe dosage frequency, which can cause patients to either take the recommended dose when the increase of pain reoccurs, even though it might be an hour or two early (that's relatively safe) some will mistakenly take a higher dosage, thinking it will last longer - unfortunately it does - a lifetime.  

There have been cases of mixing OTC medication with prescription medication to increase pain relief that has had really bad results, along with mixing prescription pain relievers with a couple of stiff drinks not being a good idea... 

 

However the above is very seldom involved in ODs and fatalities in bathrooms.   Most of those are the real thing opoids...

 

 

44>dolt45
0 Kudos
651 Views
2
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

alotofgray--For years docs have been overprescribing pain killers.  What we know now is that when used for a long period of time, these opiods lose their ability to kill pain, and actually can make pain worse.  This is addiction.  When medical professionals realized this was happening--and it was only when people started to die from overdosing, they cut back.  Doctors who saw the epidemic, and who not only looked the other way, but began to write prescriptions for anyone who had the money, were rounded up and jailed. The AMA urged docs to cut back on Opiod prescriptions, cutting down on dosage and number of pills prescribed.  This left a lack of drugs on the streets, because even in high schools, these things were sold.    

Once it became harder to get prescription drugs--whether legally or illegally, the next cheapest thing is herion, and, thus, here we are.  I was lecturing on the durg use epidemic in our country jail six years ago.

The sad thing is is that not all of these people are "junkies."  Some suffered from chronic pain and became addicted.  I know a young girl who was in an automobile accident that almost killed her.  They put her on an Opiod painkiller.  After a period of time, she really wanted to be done with the painkillers, telling herself that she would rather be in pain.  Funny thing, she was addicted, and immediately sought help in a Suboxone clinic.  Once the Suboxone levels were tapered down, she realized that she was no longer in pain.  (that ironic side efftect of long term opiate use.)  It took a year, and she is clean.

Ironically, she was just in another accident.  Immediately, she was offered an opiod, Tramadol.  She refused.  And, that's how easy it is to get caught up in drug addiction.

 

 

Gee, I miss having a real President!!
0 Kudos
610 Views
1
Report
Trusted Social Butterfly

63,

 

The idea that anyone in our medical community is not aware of the dangers and limitations of opiod use is nonsense.

 

If an individual has an addiction problem, that problem is a medical problem. Period.

 

All non-medical resources applied to that problem make it worse.

 

A junkie is a junkie however he or she got that way. That said, being a junkie is a medical condition. It is not a criminal condition.

 

Note: I define junkie as an individual addicted to a drug. All junkies are addicts. Not all addicts are junkies.

0 Kudos
575 Views
0
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

Excellent article.  How odd that some parts of the country are worried about finding a trans-man in the men's bathroom while other parts are dealing with dead bodies. Makes you wonder who is setting priorities.

 

Also makes you wonder about public policy toward drug use.  Other countries treat drug users.  Our country seems to pretend you just need to see a sign encouraging "Just say no".  How silly.  

 

 

Honored Social Butterfly

What do you mean that "other countries treat drug users"?

 

We do too if they seek help.  But I recently read that many communities are removing Suboxone because it is now becoming addictive and they are just trading one drug of choice to another.  Course, there is still methadone.

Show up and you get your daily dose, stay for counseling and then do it all over again.  If you live in a relatively urban or suburban area, there maybe even one of these in your area because now they putting them close to mass transit areas.

 

The hardest part is getting them into a program.  It don't work if they are not a willing participant.  Sometimes quickly; sometimes slowly - sometimes it is repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

To the subject, what do you think of setting up safe places in order for them to shoot up, satisfy their addiction and make sure they don't die from an overdose.

I think Washington state is the only place that has these types of places currently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

0 Kudos
173 Views
2
Report
Honored Social Butterfly


@GailL1 wrote:

What do you mean that "other countries treat drug users"?

 

We do too if they seek help.  But I recently read that many communities are removing Suboxone because it is now becoming addictive and they are just trading one drug of choice to another.  Course, there is still methadone.

Show up and you get your daily dose, stay for counseling and then do it all over again.  If you live in a relatively urban or suburban area, there maybe even one of these in your area because now they putting them close to mass transit areas.

 

The hardest part is getting them into a program.  It don't work if they are not a willing participant.  Sometimes quickly; sometimes slowly - sometimes it is repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

To the subject, what do you think of setting up safe places in order for them to shoot up, satisfy their addiction and make sure they don't die from an overdose.

I think Washington state is the only place that has these types of places currently.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Safe places to shoot up.  Prescribe drugs at low or no cost for addicts. Needle exchange programs.  Increased counselling and financial support.  All those things are needed to cut the epidemic. 

Honored Social Butterfly


@Richva wrote:

@GailL1 wrote:

What do you mean that "other countries treat drug users"?

 

We do too if they seek help.  But I recently read that many communities are removing Suboxone because it is now becoming addictive and they are just trading one drug of choice to another.  Course, there is still methadone.

Show up and you get your daily dose, stay for counseling and then do it all over again.  If you live in a relatively urban or suburban area, there maybe even one of these in your area because now they putting them close to mass transit areas.

 

The hardest part is getting them into a program.  It don't work if they are not a willing participant.  Sometimes quickly; sometimes slowly - sometimes it is repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

To the subject, what do you think of setting up safe places in order for them to shoot up, satisfy their addiction and make sure they don't die from an overdose.

I think Washington state is the only place that has these types of places currently.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Safe places to shoot up.  Prescribe drugs at low or no cost for addicts. Needle exchange programs.  Increased counselling and financial support.  All those things are needed to cut the epidemic. 


It will help -

 

Hope someday the right wing pulls the head out and starts looking at Portugal's 14 year long success story in effectively dealing with drugs.

 

 

44>dolt45
0 Kudos
622 Views
0
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

The US approach to drug abuse is completely bleeped-up.

 

Our death rate from drug overdose is about fifteen per hundred thousand.

 

Portugal's is three per million.

 

Everything we are doing as a nation about drug use is obviously only working the very tiniest of little bits.

 

 

44>dolt45
Honored Social Butterfly

Then I assume that you agree with setting up "safe places" , alfredpacker.

0 Kudos
666 Views
1
Report
Honored Social Butterfly


@GailL1 wrote:

Then I assume that you agree with setting up "safe places" , alfredpacker.


Of course - I've always been in favor of safe places.

Waaay back in the day I was a tripsitter for acid trips.

I've seen drug use, abuse, addiction from both sides of the fence.

Yup - been there done that got all the tee shirts - at least up until '77.

Lost a number of dear friends back in the sixties and seventies some to drug OD, some to motorcycle accidents some to climbing/mountaineering accidents, and have lost some more in the last two decades from accidental painkiller overdoses and interaction deaths that no one ever warned them about.

 

 

44>dolt45
0 Kudos
655 Views
0
Report
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Announcements

Does AARP donate to political parties or endorse candidates?

AARP is strictly non-partisan and always has been. We never endorse or donate to candidates, political parties or political action committees.

Learn more.

AARP Members Only Games

Play members only games, like FIll Ins, Lumeno, 2048 and a collaborative, multiplayer Let's Crossword.

Play Now
AARP Members Only Games Logos
AARP Rewards

Solve Crosswords. Earn Rewards. Activate AARP Rewards to earn points for games, quizzes and videos. Redeem for deals and discounts.

Get started with AARP Rewards now!
/html/assets/Rewards-program-badge-355x224.png