Further Reading

Who is responsible for heroin overdoses?

I just read your reply to Sherry whose brother died of a heroin overdose. "Should I get even with the drug dealer who killed my brother?" Your response says that he took the drugs himself ... this is true. However, this is not the issue. The issue is that someone else sat there and knew he was dying. Just because someone is a drug addict gives them no excuse to watch someone else die. Just because her brother was a drug addict does not mean that his death is less important than someone else. The same thing happened to my brother and there were two people in his presence who 'watched him die'. I think these people should be prosecuted because they have a responsibility to human life, whether they are junkies or not. I am tired of hearing "well if he didn't associate himself with junkie losers he wouldn't be dead." I know what the law is in here in NY, but in Florida they are very different. In a situation like this, these people can be charged with culpable negligence and spend some 15 years or more in jail. There was a case just like this where the son of a detective was sentenced to 15 years for watching his friend die. So, there is justice, just not everywhere. Should Sherry get even' with the people who killed her brother? Well .... only if she doesn't get caught. Good luck Sherry.



I sympathize with Sherry and her dead brother. Really, who should we blame for his and your brother's death? (By the way, Sherry was principally concerned with the dealer who sold her brother his drugs, not the fellow addicts who might have used with him.)

Often, an addict who become comatose when using (and my work indicates this is very rarely due to "overdose", meaning taking too intense a dose of the narcotic) will often die as a result of other addicts stranding him or her.

True, these people are often not the most responsible and prosocial people. But the reason they don't call the police or an emergency squad or deposit the individual at the hospital is because they're afraid for their own pathetic skins. And who can blame them? They have been committing a crime, and are liable for the consequences. Obviously, they are additionally worried that they can be implicated in the stricken person's death, if it amounts to that, as you proudly point to in Florida and other states.

Thus, what are the remedies for acute heroin and related drug poisoning? One is to provide clean shooting rooms for addicts, and another is to instruct addicts that any calls for emergency assistance will not result in punishment of those present. Remember, these drug users are human beings, as you indicate, and usually those at the bottom of the social totem pole. Those responsible for making our drug laws are those on the top. Shouldn't they have more sense?