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Ohio Sheriff Refuses To Equip Police With Opioid Overdose Antidote Narcan

10 July 2017, 6:20 am EDT By Allan Adamson Tech Times
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Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones says there is no law that requires police officers to carry Narcan. Here's why he does not want deputies to carry the opioid antidote.   ( Spencer Platt | Getty Images )

The sheriff of an Ohio county ravaged by the opioid epidemic refuses to equip his deputies with Narcan (naloxone), the drug overdose antidote that has saved the lives of many addicts.

Police Not Required To Carry Narcan

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones reasons that requiring the deputies to administer the drug that reverses the potentially lethal effects of overdose puts them in danger.

He also thinks that repeatedly treating drug addicts with Narcan costs a huge amount of taxpayers' money as one dose of Narcan costs $37.50 for first responders.

Citing the case of a person who has been revived 20 times, Jones said that Narcan merely revives addicts but does not cure them. Jones nonetheless added that they do not let people die. The police just allows the paramedics to do the job of saving people who overdosed themselves.

"Here in Ohio, the live squads (paramedics) get in there about the same time and they're more equipped to use Narcan," he said.

Jones added that some of the police departments that use Narcan do not also allow the police to use the drug unless there are two officers present. The police do not feel safe using the antidote, and those they try to save are not happy to see them.

Jones likewise said that that there is no law requiring police officers to carry Narcan and unless such law exists, they are not going to use the overdose antidote.

A spokesman for the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services said that should Jones decide to equip the deputies with Narcan, Butler County, which saw 210 fatal drug overdoses last year, would not solely shoulder the financial costs.

Narcan Not The Solution To Opioid Epidemic

Jones is not the first to speak out about not supporting the use of Narcan to revive addicts.

Earlier this month, City Councilman Dan Picard of Middletown, Ohio proposed a solution for drug addicts who keep overdosing themselves with opioid.

He suggested that for drug addicts who keep overdosing, the city will no longer have to send people to save their life. Picard's idea is borne out of concern that repeatedly saving drug addicts costs money and resources.

"It's not a proposal to solve the drug problem," Picard said. "My proposal is in regard to the financial survivability of our city. 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."

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