Ohio & the Narcan Problem 7/8/17, by Kaiter Enless

The drug crisis in America is getting worse and worse; Ohio, in glaring particular, has been one of the states most harshly hit (and I well know it – I live there). To combat the scourge of opioid pills and heroin injection overdoses, most law officers have taken to carrying around Project Dawn kits which, in addition to other life-saving tools, include generous amounts of Naloxone, the most popular brand of which is Narcan®. Naloxone is generally administered via nasal injection to individuals suffering from a opiate/opioid drug overdose; once administered it quickly and safely brings the individual from their stupor. Given the extremely safe track record (over 40 yrs of safe and effective usage) the drug has become a mainstay for police officers in the more opioid ridden areas of the country, such as Ohio.

One law enforcement official, a fourth term Butler County Sheriff named Richard K. Jones, however, is challenging the notion of Naloxone’s effectiveness.

Mr. Jones does not carry or utilize Narcan at all and has publicly stated that his deputies “-never carried it,” and continued to say, “Nor will they. That’s my stance.” One of the reasons Mr. Jones provides for not carrying Narcan is the fact that one never really knows how a revived addict may react – that is to say, he can not guarantee whether or not the revived individual will be lackadaisical and out of it, thankful or terrified of being arrested and turn violent. There is also another reason: the price. Narcan is many things but it is not cheap, a fact Mr. Jones has taken clear note when he stated that Narcan was, “-sucking the taxpayer dry.”

 

It remains to be seen whether or not this tough-love stance will prove ultimately more effective. For that, only time will tell.

Kaiter Enless is the Founder of The Logos Club, as well as a novelist and contributing writer for NMC. You can follow him online, here.