Ohio city councilman Dan Picard has proposed ending the practice of giving Narcan doses to opioid drug addicts after their second overdose. Social media comments about Picard's controversial statement from at least some Ohio taxpayers seem to support his hardline stance, but he was soundly bashed by others and lambasted as being heartless and cruel.
The Middletown, Ohio city councilman made the Narcan ban comment during a June 20 meeting after learning his town was about to spend 10 times its annual budget on the overdose medication. Middletown has about 49,000 residents.
"I want to send the message to the world that you don't want to come to Middletown and overdose because you might not get a response - you might not get someone to show up with Narcan," Dan Picard said at the recent Middletown City Council meeting. "We need to instill in them some fear of overdosing."
The Ohio city is on pace to spend approximately $100,000 on Narcan doses after budgeting only $10,000 for the opioid life-saving medication, the Daily Mail reported. Narcan is also known by the generic medication name, naloxone.
Picard asked Middletown City Manager, Doug Adkins, if the Ohio municipality could refuse paramedic service to opioid drug overdose victims after having already provided such emergency care twice before. Akins said Middletown could disband its emergency squad service and privatize the paramedic response teams and then opt to decline specific calls. The city manager also noted going such a route would likely spark legal troubles for Middletown.
"Is there a law that says we have to go out?" Middletown City Councilman Dan Picard asked about responding to ODs. https://t.co/TCPOQeKvWPOhio is at the heart of what many are calling an opioid epidemic. Dan Picard's proposal to end the practice of giving Narcan each and every time a drug addict overdoses is not likely to pass and become law in Middletown.
— Enquirer (@Enquirer) June 29, 2017
During the same Ohio city council meeting, Adkins said the number of opioid overdoses in the municipality by the end of May already surpassed the total for the same time span in 2016. By the middle of last month, a total of 51 Middletown residents died of drug overdoses in 2017. Last year 74 citizens of the Ohio city died of a drug overdose.
The Middletown city manager also said drug addicts who used to be able to regain consciousness after taking just one or two doses of Narcan or naloxone now require as much as nine doses to survive the overdose.
Extremely potent opioids like Carfentinil and Fentanyl are being mixed with heroin and reportedly require a much higher dose of Narcan to have a positive effect of the drug user.
Footage shows a man who apparently overdosed being revived by 2 doses of Narcan (warning: graphic) pic.twitter.com/DoNZOZQfww"We need to think outside of the box," Dan Picard also said when proposing limiting the number of times the city provides Narcan to drug addicts. "My idea is to come up with a plan to scare people."
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 27, 2017
During an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Picard addressed all of the backlash he has received over his comments. He said the past five days have not been "good." Still, he is standing behind his tough stance and proposed limiting of Narcan.
The Ohio city councilman said he does have compassion for the opioid abusers and was merely looking at the Narcan issue from a fiscal perspective. Picard said his goal was not ever to stop treating overdose patients but to fix a significant issue.
Frontline officers are now carrying Narcan for #opioid, especially #fentanyl, exposures. pic.twitter.com/u0RpDSnPzQ"If we dispatch, then we have to treat. I have no problem with that," Councilman Dan Picard added
— PC Steve Koopman (@KP_Patrol) June 30, 2017
The Ohio city councilman's term expires at the end of 2016, he is not running for the seat in the next election.
What do you think about Dan Picard's Narcan comments and the growing problem of opioid overdose in Ohio and across the United States?
[Featured Image by Miss Nuchwara Tongrit/Shutterstock]