Derek Gentile: Suggestion that Narcan emboldens users is ludicrous

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PITTSFIELD >> I don't really understand the anti-Narcan crowd.

Narcan, for those who aren't aware, is an anti-opioid drug that reverses overdoses almost instantly. It has saved lives in the county. Lots of lives. State emergency people have it, and there is a movement to enable all local emergency departments to have it.

There is a train of thinking, though, being put forward that Narcan is "bad" because now that drug users know there is this miracle drug that fixes overdoses, they will engage in more reckless behavior. And take more chances.

Well, that is a little idiotic. First of all, shooting poison into your veins doesn't get much more reckless. Unless you're shooting poison into your veins while driving a truck off a cliff, I guess.

But I don't know too many users who take the position that they're safe from overdoses because there's a drug out there that might save them — if they can access it in time. That's cutting it pretty close, wouldn't you agree?

On a completely different tack, years and years ago, when I worked at the Boston Phoenix, I got into a discussion with music critic Kit Rachlis about bands we didn't like. (I didn't like ABBA at the time. I understand them better now. Love 'em.)

Anyway, Rachlis explained that while I, Derek Gentile, might not like ABBA, they must be doing something right, because they had millions and millions of fans. The point with which he left me was, you're not the only guy in the world with good taste. So respect the work, even if you think the artist stinks.

Fast forward to the Grammys on Monday. I heard country and western star Chris Stapleton was going to be leading a tribute to the late B.B. King.

To quote Charlie Brown, I thought, "Good Grief!" A country and western guy playing the blues? I was very apprehensive.

Which shows people what I know. Stapleton crushed his part and fit in perfectly with two of my faves, Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt. It was a lump-in-the-throat moment.

And for those scoring at home, I loved the Alabama Shakes' Grammy-winning number, "Don't Wanna Fight." I liked Lady Ga Ga's tribute to David Bowie and I enjoyed seeing Alice Cooper on stage again.

Cooper performed with guitarists Joe Perry and Johnny Depp for a tribute to Motorhead's late Lemmy Kilmister. I'll give Depp credit for keeping up (sort of) with Joe Perry, but I didn't think he added much.

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


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