Narcan – Three Strikes and You’re Out

It’s been an interesting week here in Middletown.  Let’s start with the facts.  Councilman Picard asked the Law Dept to investigate whether we had a legal obligation to dispatch to repeat opiate overdose patients.  If , after investigation, there was a legal and ethical path that would allow us to legally choose to respond or not to dispatch, he opined that there could be a system to be later considered that would divert overdosing addicts from jail and into community service and treatment.

There was no three strikes policy discussed by Council as a group, no change of policy voted on.  No change or request to change was made by the majority of Council to alter how we run police or fire calls on potential overdose situations.   We will complete the legal research requested and forward the information to City Council at some later date.

Councilman Picard’s comments went viral and we’ve received hate mail, national news coverage and overloaded voice mail and email in-boxes.

Except… nothing has changed… at all… whatsoever.    We are responding to every call and rendering aid as needed.   We give Narcan where it is appropriate.   Period.

Middletown has done everything we know to do to be as progressive on this issue as we can.  We get harm reduction.   We understand it’s a disease.   We have a drug court in the municipal court system with medically supervised treatment.  Our heroin response team (police officer/social worker/paramedic) has placed over 140 people into treatment in the past year.   We have had an operating needle exchange program in Middletown for over a year.

We are usually heavily criticized not for being too harsh, but rather for being too lenient with addicts.   No one has figured this problem out.  Cities,  States and the country as a whole all struggle to handle the epidemic.  It’s a national problem and we utilize the local resources we have to deal with the problem in our City.

One last time – we have not considered or adopted any change to our method of responding to opiate overdose calls.   We respond and render aid every time.

Have a good week!

 

 

40 thoughts on “Narcan – Three Strikes and You’re Out

  1. Thank you for this response. It is heartening to hear someone speak of addicts in human terms and not like they are something less. I don’t envy the city management their jobs these days, but thanks for continuing to treat people with compassion.

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    • this sherriff is trying to play god?and who LET Someone like this happen ? what if it was his kid?would he feel the same?no I think he would fire one of his officers for not administrating to one of his own kids ? that is if the poor s.o.b even has any kids ? doesnt look to promising anyways.but I really would like to know where he gets of not wanting to help someone overdosing n dieing?when his oath is to protect n serve the community correct ? but instead HES GONNA STAND THERE AND WATCH SOMONE DIE?AND COMMAND HIS OFFICERS DO THE SAME? WHAT HAS THIS WORLD COME TO BE?

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      • I stand with the sherriff. Although I would administer Narcan once. If you haven’t learned that it can happen to you, then what good are you to society.

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  2. Without question, this is one of the most critical issues facing communities today, and no simple answer exists. The solution calls for cooperation and input from all sectors. It is counterproductive to engage in a polarizing rants which accomplish nothing. It is not enough to just criticize the ideas of others- suggest your own ideas instead. This moves the conversation forward and may help lead to a solution.

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  3. Seems to me like addicts can roll the dice and not worry about losing. Our society as a whole wants to blame others for our mistakes and actions then ignore any consequences for our actions. Students can cheat on tests then blame the teacher, addicts can get drunk, crash a car and kill someone then blame their parents, what have we become?

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  4. Using drugs is NOT a disease. Using drugs is a CHOICE. I couldn’t believe you actually stated in your email that it’s a disease.

    These addicts make a choice to do the drug. They can also make the choice not to do the drug and get help.

    I do NOT support using tax dollars I pay for reviving these addicts. On my street alone 1 girl overdosed 2 times in the same week. The squad administered 3 doses the 1st time. 2 doses the 2nd time.

    This must stop.

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    • Your just an idiot! Do some research before you run your mouth. Maybe it will be your kid or family member next time, and you can save your community some money and let them die! If you think in that narrow, heartless mind of yours that these people want to be addicts then its you who has the problem. I’m just glad you live there!

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    • You are wrong. The DSM recognizes addiction as a disease, and you are literally suggesting condemning someone to death, which I believe would count as narcissism (also recognized by the DSM).

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  5. its a joke why waste money and time on someone that will keep using again and again.
    let them dig their own grave and die in it. exchanging needles? what a fucking joke like this city.

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    • What idiots, cold hearted, uneducated people you are. Don’t think for one minute this epidemic/disease can’t happen to someone you love. Use of drugs is an addiction just like any other addiction (alcohol,gambling,etc.). Addicts have a chemical imbalance in their brains, no fault of their own.
      Walk a mile in the families of these addicts before you give an opinion you know nothing about. Who are you to judge?

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      • i am more than qualified to judge. i am an ex smoker i am an ex drug user i am an ex drinker. none of it was a disease. it was all my choice to do it and to stop. quit giving people an excuse not to change behavior. it is a choice. it is total bs that people call it a disease. granted diseases are caused from these choices like liver disease heart disease cancer, but that is our own fault if we made these bad choices

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      • THE CHEMICAL IMBALANCES IN THEIR BRAINS AND BODIES ARE PUT THERE BECAUSE OF THE DECISION TO DRINK AND OR DRUGS. JUST BECAUSE THERE IS A FAMILY OF 10 WITH TWO WITH DEEP MENTAL ISSUES DOES NOT MEAN THANT ANY OR ALL WILL BECOME SERIAL KILLERS. SO IF THERE IS A HISTORY OF ADDICTION IN YOUR FAMILY YOU CANT JUST SAY WELL ITS NOT MY FAULT MY DAD WAS ONE AND SO WAS MY BROTHER AND UNCLE. THAT CREATES AN ENABELING SELF DESTRUCTIVE PERSON THAT THEN CAN GO ON TO HURT MAIM KILL OTHERS OR THESELVES BECAUSE THEY WERE ON DRUGS AND THEY COULDNT HELP HELP SOMEONE WHO IS TRYING TO RISE ON THEIR OWN DONT CARRY THEM AND SAY ITS OK YOU DIDN’T MEANT IT ITS NOT YOUR FAULT YOU HAVE A DISEASE. CAN THAT PHYCH BABBLE AND BE A TRUE HONEST LOVING PERSON TO THE PERSON IN NEED.

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      • Forget immunizations and basic health care for the millions struggling to get by on a very limited budget. Let’s keep spending tens of billions per year on those who CHOOSE to shoot up illegal drugs!

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  6. You ppl make me sick! Comparing money to a life! Your caring ways speak of your heart, your soul. I wouldn’t want to be in your inner circle. You need to read your Bible. Regardless of what a person has done, God is the judge, not you. You may find yourself in this very situation with family, friend, whomever, will you still feel the same way?? SMH! Shame on you all! Cold hearted!

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    • i have seen it in the family… the family member also died…. sucks they died but they were warned many times… still dlnt feel sorry for them… which is why we chose ro cut them out of our family when they chose not to stop

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    • i have a grandson that i love very very much who is a drug addict. this was and is his choice. if i could make him make another choice i would. i cant and neither can you. he and his family will pay the consequences for his choice. no one else should be responsible nor should he be made to feel that it is not his fault. it is

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    • I HAVE BEEN IN THOSE SITUATIONS AS HAVE OTHER MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY. WOW IS ME WILL NEVER HELP TO CREATE A STRONG MORAL RIGHEOUS PERSON. GOD DID NOT JUST KEEP DOILING OUT FISH HE TAUHJT THEM HOW TO FISH SO THEY COULD BE SUCCESSFUL ON THEIR OWN. ANYONE COLLECTING STATE BENEFITS THAT IS PHYSICALL ABLE TO WORK SHOULD BE WORKING 40 HOURS PER WEEK FOR THEIR HOUSEHOLD TO RECEIVE FOOD, SHELTER, CLOTHES ETC. MAKE A REAL PROUD HUMAN AGAIN QUIT KNOCKING THEM BACK DOWN ON THE GROUND AND SAY ITS OK ITS NOT YOUR FAULT

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    • Sherri God is judge I agree! But when we step in we take that role on ourselves. I don’t consider myself uncaring nor uncharitable and I have always tried to help where it was needed, but I have to agree with the guy who says this is choice. I not five minutes ago read where two men just had a baby…HUH! the story was a woman who decided to become a man, but waited so her and her boyfriend could have a child first. How damned crazy are we going to get before we stop. Tell me God intended any of this, I don’t think so.

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  7. Its so interesting to see how people speak of heroin addicts like they are babies that need to be coddled… However when one of these people break into your house or hurt one of your children to get their next fix, will you feel the same way? They don’t have to worry about jail or anything. They know they aren’t going to have to change because there’s no punishment for it. It’s sickening and annoying. Why should they change of there aren’t any consequences ?

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  8. all this narcan is doing is telling users its ok to do drugs!! if you would just stop responding then maybe they would think twice before they stick a needle in their arm!!! and its not a diease its a choice… they choose to do drugs!!!! if i ever see anyone overdosing dont except me to stop an help them bc i wont!!!!

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  9. I cannot believe City councilman Dan Picard still has a job! He has no idea what it is like to be an addict or an alcoholic. Do you really think an addict said, “oh I think I know what I want to be when I grow up. I think I’ll be an addict”. Why doesn’t this country realize addiction is a mental illness. Why don’t we have an overdosed person taken directly to a treatment center to get clean?

    Mr. Picard, I happen to be an alcoholic/drug addict in recovery. I’ve been clean and sober for 23 years. It took 11 years for me to be desperate enough. I am not a homeless hobo. I am a retired Contracting Officer for the federal government. How did I get started?? By a prescribed medication.

    Remember when there were treatment centers in the early 1900’s? I do most of them were shut down due to lack of funding.

    I sure hope you or one of your loved ones do not get addicted by accident and be out on the street. Be careful who or what you judge. It may come back to bite you!

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    • I KNOW WHAT IT IS EXACTLY LIKE AND I AGREE WITH HIM TO A DEGRREE,. IF THERE IS ONLY CONTUINED BAD DECISIONS TO USE THE IM NOT WILLING TO KEEP PAYING FOR IT. THEY HAVE DECIDED WHAT THEY WANT QUIT MAKING THE REST OF US SUFFER FOR YOUR BLEEDING HEART ATTITUDE. IT HELPS NO-ONE ESPECIALLY THE ADDICT

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  10. Although I fully sympathize with addicts and their struggles, where is the personal accountability when there is NO money to keep saving individuals from themselves. As a taxpayer, do I have a right to say, no I am not willing to continue to help you kill yourself? Either get the help you need or deal with the results.

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  11. […] I believe that the answer to the question lies in approach to treatment for heroin addiction. Because recent research done has described addiction as a treatable disease of the brain, I believe that the answer lies in changing practices around heroin and subsequent opioid abuse disorders, and never in cutting off treatment to patients. [4] Of course in Middletown, patients that have ODed on heroin are continuing to get treatment, but Dan Picard had brought up a valid salient point- has opioid use grown into an epidemic? (Picard’s comment on his blog: [5]) […]

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  12. Addiction is a disease and should be treated as such. Using drugs/alcohol/tobacco is a choice and and a mistake and should be discouraged. Most of the most serious problems caused by drugs are the result of drugs being illegal. Think about the results of the 45+ years of the “war on drugs”. What have we done? The horror is too much to contemplate. This will not improve until the madness of drug illegality ends. Get over your puritan instincts and advocate for legalization. Or, continue to live with the consequences.

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    • such utter bullshit. i have used a lot of drugs. i have had friends and relative die on drugs. i have relatives who are drunks. i have relatives and friends who died from drinking. they made their choices. this disease crap is utter crap to get insurance money. when you take drugs longterm you change your brain.

      i have an addictive personality, yet I managed to just be a weed smoker and not do serious harm to myself or the community. if you do heroin or fentanyl or whatever else that is string enough to kill you, or you start slamming shit in your veins, no one is to blame but you.

      if you OD your friends and family will actually go through LESS pain with your dumb ass dead.

      i have done and still do (certain) drugs, and I agree, no more narcan except for medical personnel and police who get ‘poked’ on the job. the rest is just a darwin award and humanity is better off without the weak shit.

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  13. One problem with Narcan. It’s not magical. One of his possible side effect is … death. It happens.

    Sure, the person doing an overdose could die without Narcan.
    But if things gets wrong, and he dies from your injection, YOU killed that person.

    And as your not a medic, you coudn’t legally judge the necessity of the injection.

    You are in deep toubles. You’ll probably be judged, and if you are a deputy, the whole departmetn will pay a huge fine to the familly of the addict.

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  14. Let the worthless dregs die. AT BEST, they will clean up and become useless broken nobodies, whos biggest service to society is talking to the hundreds of people who will never clean up. Again, let them die. Its what they apparently want, why would you think you are a good person for denying someone what they want? Why would you say they need to be saved before they become burdens, but then pay to revive them dozens of times?

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  15. Addiction is a disease of the brain just like schizophrenia or OCD. It’s mind boggling to me that people are so willing help treat some people with brain diseases and let others die in the street. These are human beings we are talking about, people with families and children. Police are at the front lines of this epidemic and are in a unique position to change the way addiction is dealt with. They can choose to view the addict as a piece of garbage worthy of lying dead in the gutter or as a human with s brain disease. The only thing this sheriff is enforcing is old stereotypes that add to societies problems.

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