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Sheriff won't let officers use Narcan, says life-saving drug not helping heroin epidemic

An Ohio sheriff is taking a stand in the war on heroin addiction that he said will get at the root of the epidemic, and that seems to fly in the...
  1. the elusive eye
    Photo: Mel Evans, Associated Press

    An Ohio sheriff is taking a stand in the war on heroin addiction that he said will get at the root of the epidemic, and that seems to fly in the face of standard police practices.

    Sheriff Richard K. Jones of Butler County, Ohio, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he believes the drug naloxone, a substance used to revive overdose victims that is known by its brand name Narcan, is more trouble than its worth.

    "I don't do Narcan," Jones told the Enquirer, noting that his deputies "never carried it... nor will they."

    Jones' position raises eyebrows for a number of reasons. In his state alone, health care costs related to the epidemic totaled some $1.1 billion in 2015, with Ohio tallying more prescription opioid overdose deaths that same year than any other state in the nation.

    And it's not as if his county has been immune, either. According to the Ohio Department of Health, there were less than two dozen unintentional drug overdose deaths in Butler county in 2003. By 2015, that number had skyrocketed to 195.

    In June, Middletown city council member Dan Picard proposed a three-strike style policy for repeat-overdose victims. He said his proposal wasn't meant to address the heroin issue, but to help the city budget cope with the high uptick in overdose calls.

    "My proposal is in regard to the financial survivability of our city," Picard told The Washington Post. "If we're spending $2 million this year and $4 million next year and $6 million after that, we're in trouble. We're going to have to start laying off. We're going to have to raise taxes."

    In Dayton, Ohio, the drug has been used to reverse overdoses more than 160 times since December 2015.

    While there are no laws mandating the use of naloxone by law enforcement, data from the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC), a group committed to getting the drug into the hands of community members and law enforcement, suggests that 1,214 law enforcement agencies nationwide are using it as of December 2016.

    For Jones, these numbers mean little when weighed against the safety of his deputies. Jones said that users can often become violent, or start vomiting once the drug is administered, and that for his officers "to get on the ground and spray it in their nose is simply dangerous.”

    Jones told Fox News that another point he thinks is being missed in the debate over Narcan is that the drug has “helped revive and save some lives but not bring down the usage of heroin.”

    Jones said the heroin problem is so bad in his county that "heroin parties" are being held with designated Narcan providers who can buy it at a health department.

    He said there have been at least three babies born in his county jail in the last 18 months that were addicted to heroin.

    "I've held these little kids and their legs quiver," Jones said. " It’s sad.”

    Jones isn't alone in his reluctance to have officers carry the drug.

    Chief Craig Bucheit of Hamilton, Ohio, won't have his officers carry Narcan because the paramedics do.

    "It would duplicate efforts," Bucheit told Fox News.

    The idea that using Narcan borders on a medical procedure, and thus should be left to people like EMT's, is a philosophy embraced by some officers, as well. According to a man identified as a senior officer serving with a North Carolina municipal police department, the issue of whether officers should be carrying Narcan presents something of a Pandora's Box.

    "Officers have years of training and experience in enforcing the law and making arrests," the officer wrote in Calibre Press. "It takes a unique mindset and specialized skills. It’s not realistic to ask an officer to switch all of that off in an instant and become a medical professional. Where do we draw the line? Do officers carry EpiPens? Anti-seizure medication? Nitroglycerin pills? These are things that can all save lives, too."

    Original Source

    Written by: Alex Diaz, Kristine Kotta, Jul 7, 2017, Sheriff won't let officers use Narcan, says life-saving drug not helping heroin epidemic, Fox News

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  1. the elusive eye
    i personally think this is bullshit. of course it's not going to dent heroin use. naloxone is anti-death, not anti-opioid.
  2. aemetha
    I don't know about nitroglycerin pills, but why don't officers carry EpiPens and anti seizure medications? A 10 minute first aid class teaches you how to identify these conditions and they can save lives. Surely they carry a first aid kit with bandages and whatnot anyway. If the first aid situations most often involve overdose or seizures or anaphylaxis then the first aid kit should have the treatments for those things. Some police officials should be required to take an IQ test before they are allowed to speak. Last time I checked they had serve and protect scrawled across the doors of their cars.
    1. the elusive eye
      i agree, at least with the EpiPens. Narcan and EpiPens are designed as emergency intervention, as the conditions they correct can sometimes be lethal even before you can tell 911 what's going on. i.e., for that idiot Sheriff, his boys should be carrying those because the person could DIE long before paramedics get there, even though the deputies have a direct line through their radios (if their systems are the same as they are here; Sheriff's dispatchers here can jump on Fire's radio channels).
  3. CannabisInjectables
    Dearest Mr. Piglet Jones...you MF'er you. So you want to play God. Well, in Ohio all you Sheriffs are ELECTED officials and you're a short timer buddy. God raises 'em up and takes 'em down. You and your precious deputies are lucky I left the ER in pursuit of a natural, holistic, osteopathic stepping off point for those children of God we've let down. You duckers knew all about the pill mills on Main St USA. Come on! Who needs 160 oxys / month for anything, but we all sure as hell knew old Doc was prescribing them AND WHAT, we just expect the problem to go away or rather die off in your county...huh you premeditated murderer! Well, if it took 8 days to get deep into the dessert...it is going to take 8 more to get out! But Big Pharma cashes in on the front and backside with their Suboxone bullshit; in layman's terms, it's a synthetic heroine chemically bonded to a feelgood blocker. Back to our little piggies, "vengeance is the Lord's". I didn't write, it's in the Big Big Book. And God uses people...so, it might even be the ER charge nurse who silently gives a veteran nurse the old up-nod to shut your lights, and silently pull your door closed, denying care to your fat ass, because it was her son you let needlessly die, again it's murder. Better yet, I can see your glutinous body face up on a cold walmart floor and I pray that your constituents, those you didn't serve, leave the AED in the wall cabinet and watch your spirit go back to hell where it came from. It's public servants like yourselves who motivate me in the lab and push my staff to cover all shifts in order to get a viable, sustainable, safe and affordable drug therapy FDA approved. The drug companies were not always like this. They were family folks who really desired to make a difference, but then Wall Street took over Main Street by the greed of shareholders. I don't want outside shareholders. For 3 years now i've been hearing Come Together upon waking. I pray that my words of hate towards evil at least kept you reading to this point, because we can beat this epidemic, if we come together and that includes our law enforcement, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. Many don't like me, because I frown upon excessive living when their driver or their maid can't make ends meet. That's why I always book the cheapest hotel rooms when traveling. It puts me in the heart of the epidemic, where I hear His voice calling...Imagine...Luv you Yoko:) Even if they kill me, they can't kill God and He'll appoint someone to take my place. Bless Ya! DeaconD
  4. Basoodler
    Yup, they let the doctors get away with murder. Scioto, Pike and Ross county had more pill mills than people.

    Now they have famous mass murders and serial killers .. People living under the bridge in Chillicothe like it's the middle of Las Angeles because of those choices
      the elusive eye likes this.
  5. usedtocare
    "Do officers carry EpiPens?..."
    lol ..if you had an Africanized bee epidemic you would you moron cop
      the elusive eye likes this.
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