One Ohio Politician Has A Simple Solution To The Overdose Problem: Let Addicts Die

Across the country, opioids killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As we have noted numerous times, the epidemic is ravaging populations across racial and socioeconomic lines, according to The Post's Joel Achenbach and Dan Keating. Spurred by overdoses, the death rate for Americans rose 8 percent between 2010 and 2015.

And Ohio and other Rust Belt states are at the center of the epidemic. Opioid-related deaths in Ohio jumped from 296 in 2003 to 2,590 in 2015 — a 775 percent jump, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

There's also an economic toll: One study estimated that the cost of the prescription drug opioid epidemic costs American society $78.5 billion.

And one Ohio city council member has a solution...

As The Washington Post reports, under a new plan, people who dial 911 seeking help for someone who's overdosing on opioids may start hearing something new from dispatchers: “No.”

In response to the opioid epidemic that swept the nation — including the small city of Middletown, population 50,000 — council member Dan Picard has floated an idea that has been called more of “a cry of frustration” than a legitimate solution.

 

At a council meeting last week, Picard proposed a three-strikes-style policy for people who repeatedly overdose: Too many overdoses and authorities wouldn't send an ambulance to resuscitate them.

 

Picard told The Washington Post that he sympathizes with anyone who has lost someone to drug abuse, but said that responding to an ever-increasing number of overdose calls threatens to bleed his city dry.

 

“It’s not a proposal to solve the drug problem,” Picard said this week. “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.”

The proposal also calls for the city to create a database of overdose victims who paramedics have responded to.

“We'll have that list and when we get a call, the dispatcher will ask who is the person who has overdosed,” Picard said.

 

“And if it's someone who has already been provided services twice, we'll advise them that we're not going to provide further services — and we will not send out an ambulance.”

Solutions, Picard told The Post, require out-of-the-box thinking.

Still, he said he has received dozens of angry emails, phone calls and Facebook messages as news of his proposal spread.

But he said his worst critics don't understand how bad the heroin problem has gotten in his community — with no sign of abating.

Comments

Manthong Unreliable Narrator Thu, 06/29/2017 - 14:56 Permalink

 Gee, I wonder what was so different about 2003 when the opioid deaths were so low? Could it possibly be that there was almost no poppy trade in Afghanistan before the US liberated the poppy farmers from the Taliban? Nah… that could not possibly be the case. Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State   Well, I guess the good news is that powder cocaine now is as cheap as crack was back then. 

In reply to by Unreliable Narrator

Beam Me Up Scotty remain calm Thu, 06/29/2017 - 15:11 Permalink

Lets fix the drug problem and the healthcare problem in one fell swoop.  Create safe zones for people to get any drug they wish to have.  They have to live in that safe zone, so all the druggies can live together.  They can then partake of any drug they wish.  There won't be any medical services offered however.  And when you die, you die.  At least you died having "fun".   The rest of society won't have to put up with their bullshit then.  No druggies calling in sick to work.  No druggies robbing people.  No druggies killing innocent people on the roads.  Win/Win.

In reply to by remain calm

Samual Adams Beam Me Up Scotty Thu, 06/29/2017 - 16:06 Permalink

This is John Beohner's Home county, Butler.    Also I grew near there. Middletown and the neigboring County, Hamilton is set to have the highest Opiod Overdoses for the entire Country.   The town is a shit hole has been for decades.  The City commisioners and planners are all corrupt and complete idiots have been for 30+ years.   Used to be  home of Armco Steel, later renamed AK steel.  Highly affected by GM plant closures in the early 2000's. Very good case study of the midwest shitty plight.

In reply to by Beam Me Up Scotty

Golden Showers Samual Adams Thu, 06/29/2017 - 16:21 Permalink

Yeah, no shit. I grew up in Franklin and went to school in Hamilton and I have fond memories of going through Middletown. Might as well be mediocre town. Lower case. Thing is, I think the city guy is onto something. Three strikes for drug addicts, why not three strikes for old people? Three strikes for fat people. Better yet, why don't they just give coupons for ambulance rides and make it like the old Food Stamps to sell or trade? Where do you draw the line?Perhaps if they freed drugs, taxed them, controlled the quality, brought down the cost, there would be fewer fatalities, less crime, and fewer calls to the ambulance that taxpayers have to foot. But that wouldn't be profitable for the Bush, Clinton, Queen, PTB crime syndicates or the "deep dish pizza state" or all those crooks and murderers. The octopus doesn't give a shit about Middletown budgets. They just want their cash. I mean let's not forget the long history of the opium trades in East Asia, facilitating the black nobility, carried out by HMS armadas. Same old shit today.Middletown, Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, all gone to SHIT. I could care less if 10,000 died a year from overdosing. The more the better. Fuck, have you been through Xenia?

In reply to by Samual Adams

Mark777 Golden Showers Thu, 06/29/2017 - 22:54 Permalink

Naloxone (Narcan) used to cost around $600 or so for one injector dose.  I've read where it is now $2ooo to $4000 per dose.  Now with higher demand, some drug users needing 3, 4 or even more doses to neutralize the fentanyl or carfentanyl, no wonder the municipalities are facing immense rising costs.  Some places they're even handing out the doses to the addicts or friends.  There have been reports of addicts needing Narcan, recovering and then overdosing again the same day.How can Society handle the added costs, for the same person repeatedly?Hmm, Illinois has links stating they will provide nalozone for $20 to $40.  Who pays the difference?http://www.stopoverdoseil.org/assets/naloxone-fact-sheet.pdf

In reply to by Golden Showers

August Mark777 Fri, 06/30/2017 - 10:29 Permalink

If Narcan actually is being billed at $2000 per dose, it's only because the purchasers are chiefly public hospitals/ERs which are relatively insensitive to drug prices.Narcan, which has been around for 50-plus years, used to cost less than $2 per dose.Is this a great country, or what? (particularly if you're in the pharma industry)

In reply to by Mark777

Elvis is Alive Tijuana Donkey Show Thu, 06/29/2017 - 20:11 Permalink

This may be the dumbest comment I have ever read. I just can't believe how government skirts its own responsibility including this pol. Who approved oxycontin? Federal government/FDAWho gets blamed for deaths from oxycontin? Corporation/private business people. Who sets quota for how many pain pills can be sold in USA per year? DEA/Federal government. Who gets blamed for there being "too many" pain pills prescribed? Doctors. Who came up with limiting supply solution to save America from opioid deaths? Government and started raiding "pill mills" as a result. Why is limited supply argument applied to pain pills and not Afghan heroin? Because government/CIA makes money off of heroin and not from pain pills. Who is responsible for decine in pain pill usage and rise in heroin/fentanyl? Government. Who is responsible for surge in opioid overdoses then? Government by cracking down on regulated, safe medicine versus unsafe God knows what is in it "heroin". Government approved oxycontin, approved of lawsuits against company making Oxycontin, apporves how many pain pills are so by the year, approved of cracking down on pain pills, approved of explosion of heroin supply, apporved of the number of pain pills being sold each year and now when the bill comes for the mess you people in government created, what do you say?Sorry assholes, I meant citizens, you are on your own. It's not our fault this happened. It's yours. Take some personal responsibility. Two words for this politican: Fuck You! 

In reply to by Tijuana Donkey Show

kommissar Xena fobe Fri, 06/30/2017 - 08:19 Permalink

totally!  i've got bottles of them i haven't disposed of for years.  i really should.  i do NOT do well on opioids.  i've had 2 major surgeries and wanted the fuck off of those things even before it was advisable.  after a triple bypass, i stopped a week later, because i couldn't eat anything, (gi tract shut down), legs were swollen from fluid retention, and just generally felt shitty.  i felt like i'd been hit by a truck for a few days, but that was easier to get over.   when you need them, you really need them, but otherwise, better without.  there's got to be a better way. 

In reply to by Xena fobe

Fish Gone Bad Anon2017 Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:39 Permalink

Think of how many people the illegal drug trade employs.  From growers to pickers to processors, to smugglers, big dealers, little dealers, paramedics, police, jailers, probation officers, lawyers, politicians, etc.  A lot of people make their livings off of the drug trade, either directly, or indirectly.  Where there is money to be made, there are votes to win.Narcotics will NEVER be legal.  There is just too much money to be made jailing criminals.

In reply to by Anon2017

Yog Soggoth Beam Me Up Scotty Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:00 Permalink

Two guys I know got hooked while just kids with broken arms.  The doctor gave them oxycontins. That is what they prescribe for any minor pain nowadays. They tried to give them to me and many other family members, but we refused. One of them od, and passed away on fentynol. The drug dealer thought he was going to turn states evidence on him so he gave him a bad dose. Did not matter to him because it was just another white cracker, even though he was jewish. If we do not get rid of the source it will be the undoing of the country by the very fabric of society. Doctors should be held accountable for hooking kids too.  "Masterpiece INTL, a Manhattan-based cargo shipping service specializing in fine art. While that’s not exceptional in itself, information on the Masterpiece website proves that (1) there is proof that the works of art can bypass security, and (2) that they also permit the shipping of “perishables”.

In reply to by Beam Me Up Scotty

sschu oddjob Thu, 06/29/2017 - 18:33 Permalink

Fentanyl is legal?Not sure about that.  Check this out from Wiki:Fentanyl (also known as fentanil) is a potent, synthetic opioid pain medication with a rapid onset and short duration of action. It is a potent agonist of ?-opioid receptors in the brain. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, but some fentanyl analogues, which are designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of the original drug, may be as much as 10,000 times more potent than morphinesschu

In reply to by oddjob

Bemused Observer Tijuana Donkey Show Fri, 06/30/2017 - 18:50 Permalink

Oh please...I know plenty of people who never use all of their pain meds after an injury and don't seem to have any problems just leaving them alone when they're done needing them. And no one leaves a doctors office with a bottle of 30 pills and instructions to 'use'...they get a prescription, with very specific directions re: dose, timing. When they fill that script, the pharmacy will also include a printout of info about that med, and instruction. Most people have enough common sense to get through such an episode without going off the rails.And those stats about how all addicts start with this or that is nonsense. How do you know how far back to go? How do you determine what common event was the 'genesis' event if you stop at the first thing you find? You don't know if they 'start' after contact with the medical system...all you can say for sure is that they all had contact with the medical system at some point before becoming addicted. Great...I'll bet if we checked, we'd find they all wore shoes, ate sugared cereals as a kid, recieved oral polio vaccine, and were exposed to sunlight as children and have at least one metallic filling in a molar.

In reply to by Tijuana Donkey Show

BeansMcGreens DPLETTENBERG Thu, 06/29/2017 - 16:48 Permalink

You going to give them the drugs free, offer them a place to live free, free food, free spending money, free tv, everything free because drug addicts are worthless as far as having any responsiblility goes. You have to give them everything or else they will steal it. Got some nephews that are meth heads, and not worth a shit, except getting girls pregnant.

In reply to by DPLETTENBERG

DPLETTENBERG BeansMcGreens Thu, 06/29/2017 - 21:28 Permalink

My son is a heroin adict. He started when he was 17 and turns 43 next week. He has gone through jail and every rehab out there.  He will get a good job but it only lasts a few months and he is back into heroin. He has been going to a clinic for about a year now getting some kind of medication which prevents him from wanting heroin. If he does take any he will get deathly ill. This has enabled him to get and keep a job for the longest time ever and he is present for his daughterI will go down with him when he gets his "medicine" and you would be amazed at the people going in. You are right. A lot of scumbags but also suits in BMW's and young moms with kids in mini vans. None of these people want to be addictsThe war on drugs does work and, in most cases, the addiction is for life. At least having these clincs removes the association with crime and prevents the OD's. After 25 years of this of this I'm pretty happy getting that.  

In reply to by BeansMcGreens

kommissar DPLETTENBERG Fri, 06/30/2017 - 08:33 Permalink

some heroin addicts are very productive.  until they aren't.  there is a very famous tunnel near where i live that was designed and built by a heroin addict.  hundreds of thousands of commuters drive through it daily.  when he had a steady, reliable dose, he was very productive.  he bought 2 houses.  left one of them to his long time girfriend when he finally accidentally overdosed.  drugs can be tricky even if you know what you're doing.

In reply to by DPLETTENBERG