Narcan is a life-saving drug that reverses opioid overdose. It is used by doctors everywhere in hospitals across America. Even many police men and women carry around Naloxone (Narcan) to help individuals in an emergency situation. However, in Butler County, Ohio, the Sheriff refuses to allow his officers to have Narcan with them at any time.
Sheriff Richard Jones believes that individuals abusing opioid’s like heroine or fentanyl don’t need a police officer to bring Narcan to them during an overdose. He says that medical professionals will still revive overdose victims, but it will not be something his police force participates in.
Jones stated that individuals may become violent and unpredictable once they have been revived. Another problem, which is likely global, is that many departments are spending more than they budgeted for to have their police officers carry Narcan for these individuals. This is also a taxpayer problem, because we the people pay for these individuals to receive life in the event that they were already wasting it on heavy drugs.
According to The Enquirer, Butler County has the only department left in Southwest Ohio not carrying Narcan. Has carrying Narcan made a significant difference? The answer to this question is based on which perspective one uses to think about the issue, emphasizing the individual lives saved or emphasizing the amount of money used to save the few. With the increase in opioid overdose-related deaths from 2016 to just halfway through this year, it’s arguably unlikely that carrying Narcan is making a major impact on overdose victims.
In recent years, it has been debated whether or not to revive overdose victims. Partly because the person being revived never receives a bill for their injection of Narcan, and in many places, they can receive more than one treatment with Narcan. The rising costs of Narcon are not being paid by those who receive the treatment but by the taxpayers of America.
Some people believe that reviving victims of overdose can be beneficial and life-changing. Reviving someone is merely one step of the whole process. That individual needs treatment afterwards, which many cannot afford nor will they seek such treatment. Another step is to find support, which can be difficult as many addicts have already cut ties with family members and friends who may have helped them in the past.
Others say that addiction is a disease, and needs to be treated as such. In this perspective, Narcan should be free. Individuals with cancer could take this as an insult, due to six-figure bills that may stack up after chemo therapy and treatment of their disease.
While Sheriff Jones may be wrong for not having his officers carry Narcan; he isn’t wrong for believing it isn’t a cure for addiction, it may lead to greater awareness of opioid abusers and finding new ways to treat their addiction. Although it is the duty of law enforcement to protect people, even from themselves, how far should police go to use public money to protect people from themselves? You be the judge and comment your opinions.
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