HAMILTON, Ohio — A sheriff in an Ohio county with record numbers of overdose deaths in recent years is sticking to his long-standing refusal to allow deputies to carry an overdose-reversal drug.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones says he remains opposed for safety reasons because people can become hostile and violent after being revived with Narcan. Deputies in neighboring counties in southwest Ohio do carry it.
“I don’t do Narcan,” Jones told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “They never carried it. Nor will they. That’s my stance.”
County emergency crews administer Narcan, and the Butler County Health Department has been offering free naloxone kits to relatives and friends of addicts.
Jones’s latest comments came after a city councilman in Butler County’s Middletown drew national attention with his suggestion that emergency crews should stop responding to people who repeatedly overdose. Councilman Dan Picard also suggested that people who overdose should be forced to perform community service to make up for the cost of an emergency run.
Middletown’s city manager responded with a statement that the city continues to respond to every call.
Ohio is among the states hit hardest by the opioid crisis. Butler County, near Cincinnati, had a record 192 drug overdose deaths last year. The county coroner has said it is on pace for other record year in 2017.
Jones, an early supporter of Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign, has gotten national attention before on his tough talk on illegal immigration. He has written to the Mexican government calling for reimbursement for housing in the county jails immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
So, it’s easier to let a person die of an OD than deal with someone who may become agitated after administration of NARCAN? Something needs to be done to help the cause of the ODs, but I thought police were trained to deal with agitated subjects, at least until rescue gets there. EMS will have to deal with them if they last long enough for them to arrive on scene!
When the opioid crisis hits Sheriff Jones’ family or loved ones….maybe he will change his mind about Narcan. Or maybe Sheriff Jones should visit some folks who have recovered from Substance Use Disorder and are living productive healthy lives, and were saved by Narcan…sometimes multiple times. Perhaps that might open his mind and heart. I pray that Sheriff Jones, and those who think like him, will be blessed with an open heart and realize…there, but for the grace of God, go I!
Right on MP. If or perhaps when Mr. Jones (and those like him) experience severe pain or learn they have a loved one addicted to opiates, he/they will learn the hard way what those impacted by the opiate crisis already know (you can’t just stand by and let someone suffer or die). Then, he/they too will be begging the government and medical community to come up with a humane alternative.
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