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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


  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.
  6. nontask
    Having been in law enforcement for years commenting on rather LEO (law enforcement officers), should on shouldn't care epi-pens, nitroglycerin tablets or Narcan, or any other prescribed medication is difficult to say. One of the main problems as I see it, is that it takes more than a 10 min. class to learn how to recognize the symptoms needed before you will administer the drug. It's hard enough to teach 1st Responder Courses that we all must have, and that I taught...(my first career was in medicine, no, I'd rather not say why I left, only that it wasn't anything I did wrong). It's also difficult to 'make' officers give CPR to those who require it. And CPR is a course that is taught & re-taught every year in training. I think that is more the officers personal decision and he/she may still be thinking they will 'catch' something. There are disciplines in place but hard to prove..
    Anyway, if the above I've written is the case, and for me I have seen it more than once, trying to teach an officer the correct symptoms to recognize before giving the correct drug, that officer will err on the side of caution....his caution, which may lead to other complications. Think about it. Many of the symptoms are similar and you don't want to give an épi-pen to someone in diabetic shock, or narcan to a person having a heart attack. Result would be death in some cases, and if you think that officer will get off free with no harm intent, that's like saying the "Good Samaritain Rule" is always a good defense. It is not.
    There are too many officers who haven't been trained well enough so they shoot before thinking because they don't have that training to fall back on..no, not always the case, but it dors happen. I wouldn't want to see them with prescription medicine and the ability to give it when they 'think' they have the right symptoms and circumstances. That's why, at least where I worked, Fire/Rescue was dispatched on most calls where there is a suspected injury (of course), as well as certain types of behaviors reported by either 911 calls or the officer on scene. Many times they get there first. It's better to leave the medical procedures to the trained medical professionals and the law enforcement to the trained (hopefully) law enforcement officer.
    I can see where it might be a great idea to have a specialized squad (or 3), of LEO that respond to these types of calls as they do with DUI's or AI (Accident Investigator-homicide traffic). They could be well trained and confident in the administration of these medicines and aid Fire/Rescue in other calls where they wait for the officer to get on scene before going in.

    But the comment the Sheriff made in above article, "helped revive and save some lives but not bring down the usage of heroin.” is absurd. Anytime a life can be saved, it doesn't make a difference if it changes the amount of drug use or not. That's just asinine!

    But this is just the opinion of one long time LEO. I'd always rather err on the side of saving a life, even if it doesn't decrease the drug use.
      the elusive eye likes this.
  7. usedtocare
    Please forgive my insensitive comment,it was entirely disrespectful and unnecessary. No excuse, but i was having a crappy day.
    I respect the years of training and the expertise of LEO's and para-medics.......
    But my five year old carries an epiipen daily.
    1. nontask
      I totally understand. Not to worry. It's a great thing that your child is well versed in what to do when stung, bitten, whatever.
  8. Junkiechic91587
    Wow, so basically, they are going to just say fuck it and try to end the epidemic by letting the addicts kill themselves off. I think this all kinds of wrong! I bet if this guys daughter or son became an addict he wouldn't be saying this! He would want all officers to carry narcan! I mean even if I didn't do heroin I would still think this is wrong! So what if they come to a call and it's an overdose, they are just going to be like 'oh well, they shouldn't be on heroin in the first place?' I mean I understand it's an illegal drug and yeah u really shouldn't be doing the shit, but that's no reason to let them die! Fuck them they are just addicts anyways, is not an attitude I would want my chief of police to have! Thank God I don't live in Ohio! Be its going to go from overdose numbers going up to the # of deaths rising, because that's just so much better than carrying narcan right? This guy right here needs a demotion and reality check!
      the elusive eye likes this.
    1. nontask
      I really don't think that officers, rather police officers or deputy sheriffs, have the attitude, "Oh fuck them, they shouldn't be on drugs anyway." At least not the ones I worked with.
      It's unfortunate that this dum ass sheriff is the one we are hearing about this issue. He's the one that most probably has that attitude, & needless to say, he's one of those sheriffs/police chiefs that sanction the killing of people stopped on routine traffic stops or any other reason that the "mostly untrained" officers feel justified in committing murder.
      Please give your average deputy/officer the benefit if a doubt. We don't like to have to stand by helpless & watch anyone die. It's a horrible feeling that you never forget. It would also be the same if not a worse feeling if inadvertently by administering the wrong medication to someone, you caused their death or permanent disability!
      In actuality why this yoho even mentioned saving lives with a decrease in drug use shows he's an idiot. In my experience, deputies/officers are not dispatched on medical calls unless it involves violence, in which case we would be dispatched to aid/protect Fire Rescue personnel while they take care of the sick/injured or ??? We usually only come in contact with someone experiencing a coronary, allergic reaction, drug overdose, DT's....etc., when it's a person who we happen to come across while answering another type call, traffic accident, or even off duty.
      A no win situation, which is why I suggested that departments train special squads to carry Narcan, nitro, épi-pens or any medication that can save a life in a life-threatening "Medical" scenario. This argument would then lose all relevance!
      the elusive eye likes this.
  9. tjm91
    Faux, excuse me, Fox News is reporting such a story, so I naturally express some skepticism about 'some others,' but it appears that there is this person quoted on the record.

    It appears that the Sheriff is proposing a policy which would alarm an economist. The principle of unintended consequences of this policy being implemented. I'm sure the police force has deputy sheriffs that think this is a policy that is batshit crazy. I would want to remove the sheriff if I were in a position of political power in his municipality. The realities will play out on the ground, and that means people will fear calling emergency services because of the fears of arrest and not getting help. This community will have to bear the costs of this sheriff. It will be a tragedy if he is in an elected position and then is re-elected by the governed in this community.
  10. Basoodler
    This guy has a long history of "batshit crazy." He expresses extreme right wing views regularly (think pepe the frog and swastikas)

    Sadly this behaviour seems to be spreading to other Ohio Sherriffs .

    I think sheriff Jones gets away with it because Middletown is such a shithole, and Hamilton isn't far behind. I also think that Butler county is one of the more gerrymandered counties in Ohio with electoral districts diluting the urban areas like the two towns I just mentioned plus oxford ... And strengthens the northern rural vote (red neck vote)

    At some point the Republican party will have to accept that they have become the "Party of white trash" through their own deeds. The conservative principals that are the foundation of the "Grand old Party " are not the same as the new populist / nationalist movements that are consuming it.

    Those senators are waking up to that reality, and the house is already a lost cause.
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