Butler County, OH — An Ohio sheriff is making national headlines this week after publicly noting that his department will be one of the only ones in the state to refuse to carry Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of opioid and heroin overdoses.
According to Cincinatti.com, Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones says his deputies won't carry Narcan, despite its effectiveness reversing the effects of opioid and heroin overdoses. He's the only sheriff in Southwest Ohio refusing to carry the life-saving medicine.
The sheriff made this reckless decision in spite of the fact that drug overdoses continue to be the leading cause of death in the entire county. According to the coroner, the county is now on track to break last year's record for the highest number of overdose deaths.
"The disturbing trend of overdose deaths involving fentanyl in Butler County continues at an alarming rate," said Butler County Coroner Lisa Mannix in a recent press conference.
Jones' reasoning for refusing to revive overdosed individuals with Narcan is not surprising — officer safety.
According to Jones, when deputies save the life of someone during an overdose, they often wake up, see the deputies, and freak out.
"I don't do Narcan," Jones told reporter Keith BieryGolick.
As FOX 19 reports, Jones' remarks Thursday come after a Middletown city councilman recently brought national attention to that Butler County city by suggesting letting addicts die instead of repeatedly reviving them with Narcan.
The suggestion to let addicts die from their overdose brings into question the responsibility of the state to protect people from themselves.
Jones and his deputies will undoubtedly pull over hundreds of people this year and issue them citations for not wearing their seat belts. This extortion will be carried out in the name of public safety and protecting people from themselves.
The sheriff refusing to protect people from their heroin overdoses highlights the hypocrisy in seat belt tickets as well as other citations, arrests, and detainment for victimless crimes that the sheriff is more than happy to enforce.
Also, what if the sheriff and his deputies found a child who accidentally overdosed on their parent's opioid supply? How would they feel knowing they could've saved the life of an innocent child if they would've simply carried Narcan?
Also, the question still remains: Does the state have a legal responsibility to save your life with Narcan if you overdose on opioids?
Being that the sheriff is funded by the very people who may experience an overdose one day, the answer to that question is most likely yes. The citizens of Butler are forced to pay for the sheriff's department, therefore the sheriff owes them a service in return.
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However, where is the line drawn? Should police simply continue to go on calls and revive people over and over with Narcan that can cost up to $75 per dose?
To understand the answers to those questions, we have to look at how the state has essentially created and facilitated the current opioid epidemic in which America currently finds itself.
For decades, the US government has waged a war on drugs while granting the monopoly on opioid production to the pharmaceutical industry. For years, people who would've never thought of trying heroin trusted their doctors who were being paid large sums of money to prescribe them dangerous and addictive opioids.
As the crack down on opioids came to a head, all the 'legal' drug addicts were forced into the black market to continue supporting their addictions. Soccer moms and business professionals alike quickly found themselves buying highly dangerous fentanyl and heroin on the black market to support their government-approved pharmaceutical industry-sustained addictions.
Instead of helping these people, who clearly have physical and mental addictions and need help, the government simply began locking them in cages when they caught them with it.
Research — according to many law enforcement officials — shows that the cost of incarceration, especially for repeat drug offenders, is far higher than simply treating their addiction.
The good news is that people like Jones are quickly finding themselves obsolete. Law enforcement across the country are realizing that treatment — not cages — curbs the problem of addiction far more successfully.
This realization has led to the creation of the Angel Program.
As the Boston Globe reports:
“As Gloucester police chief, Leonard Campanello pledged in 2015 that drug users could walk into the police station, hand over heroin, and walk out into treatment within hours — without arrest or charges. The concept of help rather than handcuffs became a national sensation.”
Campanello is no longer police chief there, but the program is continuing in Gloucester. The concept of helping addicts instead of criminalizing them is such a success, it’s been adopted by 200 police agencies in 28 states.
Aside from the angel program, stopping the war on drugs is also having a heavy effect on reducing opioid overdoses.
As TFTP has reported at length, states with legal cannabis see far fewer overdoses than those who cage people for the plant.
Solutions to this epidemic exist, but in order for them to be successful, government must legalize freedom and admit that the war on drugs is an epic failure. While things may seem bleak, these tiny changes are already beginning to have a major positive effect.
Soon enough, the dinosaurs who continue to push the drug war will be seen as the tyrants they are. To all those in law enforcement, you will do well to place yourself on the right side of history — which, most assuredly, does not involve kidnapping, caging, and killing people in a failed war to control what those people do with their own bodies.