Friday, June 30, 2017

Let Addicts Die


WaPo  |  Under a plan by a city council member in Ohio, people who dial 911 seeking help for someone who's overdosing on opioids would 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 floated an idea that's 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.”