In an article titled, “State’s fishing fleet confronts an opioid problem,” the Boston Globe highlights the Gloucester fishing industry’s push to be better equipped to handle the nation’s opioid epidemic.
Captains are now stocking their boats with nasal naloxone (trademarked under the name Narcan), and are trained on how to administer the opioid reversal drug to curb overdose deaths on the water.
“This is a mayday call for the fishing industry,” said J.J. Bartlett, president of Fishing Partnership Support Services, a nonprofit agency in Massachusetts that addresses health and safety issues. “Ambulances don’t go where fishermen fish.”
The article explains that the push to bring Narcan to the fishing fleet is the latest move to expand its availability. An increasing number of first responders — including many police, firefighters, and other emergency personnel — now carry the antidote.
Along with stories from fishermen, who have seen the negative affects opioid addiction can have on a person, family and industry, the article highlights that to help address the disease of addiction, the Fishing Partnership has joined forces with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.).
P.A.A.R.I. is working to ensure that every fisherman’s first aid kit is equipped with Narcan. Allie Hunter McDade, executive director of P.A.A.R.I., told the Globe that one of the 40 Gloucester fishermen who received a Narcan kit during a training day in March, used the drug to revive an overdose victim on land.
“We’re already talking to other law-enforcement agencies in hopes of expanding it to other fishing fleets,” John Rosenthal, P.A.A.R.I. co-founder and chairman, said in the Globe article. “We’re hoping over time it becomes as integral to safety training as CPR.”