“I was dead for 15 minutes.” Overdose reversal drug enabling addicts or saving lives?

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Enabling addicts or saving lives? That’s the question at the center of a debate surrounding the so-called miracle drug.

The powerful, relentless grip of drugs is claiming more lives than ever before. “Once I started I couldn’t stop because it was helping me block out all of my emotions surrounding everything going on,” said Chad Hill.

He started using heroin just ten months ago. One day he unexpectedly collapsed. “I woke up with paramedics and firefighters hovering over me. They said I was dead for 15 minutes, and I didn’t believe them at first,” said Hill.

Credited for saving more than 10,000 lives, Narcan is an overdose reversal drug. Many are praising the life-saving tool, but there are concerns drug users consider it a safety net.

“Those are the people who have never done drugs, so they don’t understand what it’s like to be an addict,” said Hill.

Freebirds in Terre Haute does know something about addiction. The recovery center is on the front lines of the heroin epidemic.

“A politician doesn’t know the feeling, the sadness and struggle that it is to get off drugs,” said Karen Eckerman, Sober Living Coordinator.

Narcan could be the first step towards change, something recovering addict Danielle Ellison believes everyone is capable of. “Just because they are an addict doesn’t make them any different. Everybody deserves another chance at life,” she said.

Hill is taking advantage of his second chance. While one drug could have put him in his grave, another gave him a newfound sense of freedom.

“I didn’t expect to die or overdose, so the Narcan is a miracle.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, there is help. You can call Freebirds Solution Center at (812) 232-1700.