Taxes spent to revive overdose victims


For the past eight years, my uncle has been fighting for his life due to a diagnosis of leukemia. Believe it or not, one of the hardest fights is with the insurance companies that refuse to help pay for treatments. My uncle is roughly over $90,000 in debt with a growing bill. The chemotherapy pill that he consumes daily costs about $10,000 a month. Thanks to the “kindness” of the pharmaceutical company, they’re only charging monthly $1,000, out of pocket. Sadly, there’s an outrageous price tag you must pay to stay alive.

How heartbreaking it is to see a man fighting for his life at the age of 53 and wondering every month how and where the extra $1,000 is coming from. Yet, as a society, we are spending millions of dollars on doses of Narcan to save those overdosing for free.

Just this past Monday, there were 18 reported overdoses in Trumbull County resulting in two deaths. Of these 18 incidents, one person required 22 doses of Narcan, with another requiring 12 doses. Those two cases alone cost taxpayers approximately $2,500 to keep them alive. My uncle didn’t choose leukemia nor choose to be in debt to keep breathing every day. He doesn’t receive his medication until the company has his $1,000 in their hands. He can be put in life-threatening situations just because he may come up short one month. However, in a matter of minutes, an overdose can occur and be resolved with free doses of Narcan.

I realize that there’s a heroin epidemic prompting help, but I want to bring attention to those battling cancer everyday as well. Things need to change.

I’m a 23-year-old nursing student finishing my senior year of college. My generation needs to stand up and start fighting for what’s right. Fight for the people who have no strength to fight for themselves. Let’s spend our money more wisely.