Do we continue to save people who are willingly putting drugs into their bodies and overdosing? That is the question one city has been struggling with for a while, and they are making a decision as to whether they should let the overdosing “victim” die after the third time being saved.
I use the word victim lightly because they aren’t really victims. Cancer patients are victims. They have a disease that they cannot help. Drug addicts are just that. It may not be an easy choice because their bodies are addicted, however, it is a choice they make nonetheless.
Butler Dispatch reports:
Middletown, Ohio officials are tired of overdoses in their town, and they have a way to stop this from continuing. But city officials are concerned this “proposal” may hurt them in the end. The proposal is a 3-strike policy. On the 3rd 911 call of a known “overdoser”, the 911 dispatcher will simply hang-up.
WLWT-TV and WKYC-TV stations in Ohio has released new information as to the 3-strike policy. Middletown, OH has spent $11,000 on Narcan in 2016. In 2017, they have spent over $30,000 and are projected to spend another $45,000 unless they do something to resolve their addiction problem.
Last year Middletown has 74 overdose-deaths. In 2017, they have had 51 overdose deaths and it is still rising weekly. The proposal begins with giving the person 3-chances.
The first revival is “free”, per say. The 2nd revival results in the person doing community service to pay off their “debt” for the Narcan used to revive them. The 3rd-strike results in the dispatcher hanging up on you.
The way a dispatcher would know whether to hang-up on you is a database will be created. This database will result in the names, addresses, and phone numbers of known users. If a dispatcher receives a call, and they see you have not completed your community service or you are constantly a “frequent flyer”, the dispatcher will disconnect the line and not dispatch an ambulance.
The city claims this is not a way to solve the overdose issue, but to save the city money.
What do you think about this? Should paramedics look the other way after the third time?