A controversial but incredibly popular Sheriff in Butler County, Ohio, has made remarks recently that many consider shocking. However he's partially correct in his assertions.
Butler County, a Southwestern County in Ohio, is one of the hardest hit regions in the entire nation as Heroin overdoses have spiked to make headlines all across America coming from the tiny area.
Heroin is so readily available in Ohio that you can find it outside a gas station or grocery story. At the risk of pointing out stereotypes, it's actually the truth. See a black guy in a car with rims on it and ask him if you can buy some and 99/100 times he has it on his person.
That's just the reality of the situation in Ohio. You can get it anywhere from hundreds if not thousands of street dealers. Supply and demand.
The problem is that Ohio legislators are completely unable to come up with a solution to combat the growing Heroin use. Not only is it a problem for the addicts but its placing a financial burden on the communities and local governments.
One of the most effective tools in regards to saving lives, is Nalaxone, or Narcan, which is something that many local law enforcement agencies carry on their bodies right beside the handcuffs. It's that common to deal with several daily overdoses, effectively turning the police department into emergency medical responders.
Sheriff Jones is having none of that. He says it's not the responsibility of the Sheriff Department to revive a drug addict for a multitude of reasons, and well, technically he's correct.
The nasal spray known as Narcan, can be given to an overdose victim when it appears they're dead or dying and many suggest when it's used it's effects are similar to raising the dead.
Not only is it incredibly expensive for the law enforcement agencies to provide the counter-overdose drug, but it's potentially placing them at risk for a lawsuit if an overdose victim's family decides to sue.
Officers are not doctors or nurses or even EMTs. This is not what their job description entails, but it's become an overly common occurrence for them to have to use the drug on overdose calls.
Sheriff Jones however made brutally honest remarks that have been deemed as controversial lately, saying that, “We don't do the shots for bee stings, we don't inject diabetic people with insulin. When does it stop?”
The Sheriff went on to say, “I'm not the one that decides if people live or die. They decide that when they stick that needle in their arm.”
He's not wrong. In fact recent thegoldwater.com reported on one overdose victim who has been revived over 20 times in the same area of Ohio. This is often the case with these individuals who statistically 86% of those revived go right back to using Heroin.
It's a sad scenario and it's bankrupting the communities who already have more people on welfare receiving assistance than they do paying taxes and the local governments simply cannot afford to continue to purchase the Narcan.
Jones is not only the Sheriff of Butler County but the Warden of the Butler County Jail, which houses over 2000 inmates. He that said, “The drug addiction has ravaged this country and his county, and we've seen the worst of it.”
He said his own Sheriff's Deputies encountered a man in the jail parking lot who had just been bailed out by his mother. Both were shooting up heroin in her car right outside the jail.
During his long tenure as Sheriff, three babies had been born in the jail addicted to Heroin, including one being born in a toilet, whether the mother hid the pregnancy and wanted to dispose of the child, Jones said.
Jones said that Narcan is a waste of money, and the wrong approach entirely to the war on drugs and the Heroin epidemic. In reference to the war on drugs Jones said simply, “We're not winning.”
Technically he's correct. Hundreds of billions of dollars are wasted to ‘fight’ the Heroin epidemic in reviving patients and in costs of housing them in jail or rehabilitation and the costs of personnel including officers, judges, jailers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, EMTs, rehabilitation counselors, doctors, and treatment of every kind.
These things are not free. Taxpayers are paying for these burdens and it's just not fiscally responsible. Heroin addicts are unlike a heart attack patient in the sense that they instantly return to their life of crime and drug use the moment they awaken. It's almost as if they're zombies.
Truthfully that appears to be what society looks like in Ohio right now in many areas, The Walking Dead, except the zombies are parasitic drug addicts.
Many in the Ohio Valley continue to float new ideas to combat the growing problem of Heroin, but not many have a final solution. Jones however has made up his mind, and Butler County Sheriff's Deputies will not carry Narcan.