Letter of the Day (April 10): Heroin overdoses

  • Updated: April 9, 2014 - 7:49 PM

It seems that sheriff, prosecutors are more interested in arrests than in saving lives.

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Naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, reverses an opioid overdose.

Photo: Mel Evans • Associated Press,

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Minnesota prosecutors and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek oppose a law offering immunity to anyone who summons help for a victim of a heroin overdose (“Cops object to immunity in heroin bill,” April 9).

By stating that his deputies might not be directed to carry the lifesaving drug Narcan while on patrol, Stanek implies that a life is worth saving only if a lawbreaker gets arrested in the process. Budgets for law enforcement are determined in part by crime rate. If those who were once at risk of arrest were suddenly granted immunity, as a measure approved Tuesday by the state Senate would do, arrest rates would drop and so would government funding.

Similarly, prosecutors have earned their keep recently by aggressively pursuing anyone who supplied drugs to an overdose victim. In some cases where the user has died, murder charges have been filed against the provider, even if it was a friend or a family member who harbored no ill intent and was not negligent.

The priority for bystanders observing an overdose situation should be to save a life. That’s all that matters.

Jason Gabbert, Prior Lake

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