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OPINION: New Bedford woman uses CPR on OD victim, disappointed in how addict was treated


“I hate to talk about addiction on this page because people can be so simple-minded but here it goes:

Earlier this week as I was driving to Waterwizz with a girlfriend of mine and we encountered a man that was laying on the ground unconscious. As soon as the light turned green I pulled to the side of the highway and started CPR on this man while my friend went to her grandmother’s house just down the road to grab some Narcan.

I cried trying to keep this man alive. Another female bystander pulled over to assist me. Thank god for you! To the firefighters that arrived on scene: your lack of empathy towards another human being is disgusting! I had to get out of there I was so distraught. You guys are tired of seeing the same people, I get it. It still doesn’t change the fact that you should still be a decent human being. Especially the fact that I lost my brother to drugs in 2013 and the thought of someone treating him that way just made me so sick.

Now fast forward to 4:30pm and the same man is back on the corner so I stopped and talked to him and asked him if he wanted help. He said ‘yes.’ He told me he was in a lot of pain which is why he was back on the corner trying to get his next fix. I knew he would be because I literally felt the crack as I was doing the chest compressions.

When someone who had to be revived with Narcan arrives at St Luke’s, does the staff even make an attempt to give them any resources? If not, how do you guys not expect to see the same people over and over again? Where is the mental help ?How do we expect to see change if nothing is being done?!!”

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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  1. There are a lot of issues here. You said he was back on the same corner, the same day! You didn’t mention the days before or the coming days ahead! How many other incidents were delayed in response during all the times this one individual was given aid? Empathy is a personal characteristic that firefighters are expected to have based on the job. Training a firefighter in empathy is as easy as training one to love, or to hate! How much empathy do you think they should have? Did you ever think that like the victim, the firefighters may be on an overdose of scenes like this. Not just this victim or your brother, but hundreds or thousands of victims over a career. And then they get to go home with their empathy. Who will give the firefighters the empathy they need? A family that has no idea what they’ve been through! A city or town government that wants to cut back their services! You neglected to mention the wheeler dealers that provided the drugs for your brother or this guy. Where is their empathy?

  2. I would love to share with the stigma both my son and we his family experienced at St. Luke’s. Number one barrier to treatment, help that can result in death; stigma

  3. It’s actually pretty standard in Wareham to treat those most vulnerable like absolute garbage. Because they can. Some people here do get outraged about stuff like this, myself fully included. Unfortunately the majority tend to want to bully them further. Again, because they can. And going against the majority will put a target on your back. Because how dare you imply that they’re doing something wrong, just because they are?!

  4. I have a police scanner. O.D.’s are a daily occurrence. I know that after an O.D., the next day the police go searching for them to try to get help for them. There are groups of homeless people behind Tractor Supply & Water Wizz, some are clean, some are alcoholics, and some are drug addicts. Without insurance, no one will take them for treatment. If they get clean, where do they live? Back to where the homeless are and the cycle continues. The police all carry Narcan. Why does your friend’s grandmother have Narcan? I have been witness to many situations with the P.D., F.D. and EMTs and have never seen bad treatment. Maybe this person was hard to deal with. Maybe this was his 10th time being saved. Wareham needs a place for the homeless to live. Keep the town hall as is, find a better place for the WPD than the town hall and open Decas School for low-income housing and homeless to rebuild their lives.

  5. Today, a large number of women struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism. This would be a fantastic and insightful article to read and consider. I appreciate you sharing this fantastic and inspiring post. I’m really grateful for this.

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