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Ohio sheriff refuses to allow his deputies to carry Narcan overdose antidote despite the state’s opioid crisis

July 10, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Ohio sheriff refuses to allow his deputies to carry Narcan overdose antidote despite the state’s opioid crisis

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A county sheriff in Ohio with record numbers of drug-related fatalities in recent years is still backing his refusal to allow deputies to carry the Narcan overdose medicine.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones continues to be opposed to Narcan for safety reasons because, he says, that individuals can become hostile and violent after being revived with the antidote.

Narcan can reverse an opioid overdose, and deputies in adjacent counties in southwest Ohio do have it on hand.

“I don’t do Narcan,” Jones said to The Cincinnati Enquirer. “They never carried it. Nor will they. That’s my stance.”

He maintained that he’s not heartless, but the cost of administering Narcan on a constant basis is “sucking taxpayers dry.”

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones (file above) is sticking to his long-standing refusal to allow deputies to carry overdose-reversal drug Narcan

“All we’re doing is reviving, not curing them,” Jones said to NBC News. “One person we know has been revived 20 times.”

“In Ohio, the live squads (paramedics) get there about the same time and they’re equipped to use Narcan,” Jones added. “The people who use don’t usually like police and turn violent once they’re revived. Some police departments that use Narcan won’t allow police to use it unless there are two officers on the scene. Police feel unsafe using Narcan because they have to get on their knees, squirt it into their nose, and the people they are saving are not happy. They’re angry.”

County emergency personnel administer naloxone, and the Butler County Health Department has been providing free kits to family members and friends of addicts.

“There’s no law that says officers have to carry Narcan,” he added. “Until there is, we’re not going to use it.”

Jones’ latest remarks came after a councilman in Butler County’s Middletown drew attention with his proposal that emergency crews should stop responding to people who overdose repeatedly.

Councilman Dan Picard also proposed that individuals who overdose should be forced to do community service to make up for the price of an emergency run.

Health experts say those revived after being given a dose naloxone are usually groggy and confused and may experience withdrawal but do not often become violent.

Ohio is among the hardest hit states impacted by the opioid crisis. Butler County, which is located near Cincinnati, had 192 fatal overdoses last year.

The county coroner revealed it is on pace for another record year in 2017.

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