Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith has seen the impact of opioids first-hand, and that’s why he has joined NARCAN’s “Ready to Rescue” campaign to break down the stigma around accidental overdose and help everyone be better prepared for an opioid emergency.
Smith spoke with rolling out about the campaign, speaking with his kids about opioids and the effect drugs have on the world.Why was it essential for you to be a part of this campaign?
I have five kids, family members that have been addicted to opioids themselves, friends that I’ve lost to opioid overdoses or drug overdoses, or even with the emergence of fentanyl. With the opioid overdose epidemic that’s running around the country, and as a parent and father, I must make sure not only my kids are safe but try to help others be safe as well. What we’re trying to do is spread awareness and get people prepared through the “Ready to Rescue” campaign. The best way we can [prepare] is to make sure that we go to our local pharmacy to buy the NARCAN over-the-counter spray and carry it on us at all times because we never know when someone [might need it].What do those conversations look like when you’re talking to your kids about opioid overdoses?
The conversation is fairly simple. It’s like, “I want to talk to you all about this, and this is what I’m doing.” I’m doing it to spread awareness around opioid overdoses and opioid emergencies, as well as dependence on drugs. My kids and our kids are living in a world where things have been laced with deadly drugs, whether somebody’s going to buy Adderall from someone that they don’t know or different things [are] happening. I want my kids to be keenly aware of not only the dangers but [also] the risks because I don’t think any mother, father, relative, or friend wants to get a call that this has happened and we did not have a conversation. But I think it’s important to not [only] spread awareness but also to get people mentally ready and keenly aware of their environments.
How have you seen opioids affect the world?
Let’s talk about addiction all by itself because it’s such a big category. We just lost Matthew Perry. We lost a couple of other actors and actresses, and so forth. Fentanyl is one of those things that’s very dangerous, let alone for a person who’s dealing with pain and [needs pain medication] and gets addicted to some of the hardcore drugs. Those are just levels. Drugs, as you may know, are rapid on the street, and as rampant as they are, they’re hurting folks. Just to spread awareness about the possibility of opioid overdoses, the opioid epidemic, and opioid emergencies is [essential]. The number one cause of death right now in America is not heart attacks; it’s accidental overdoses.
Source: Rolling Out