A controversial plan pitched by a city councilman in Middletown, Ohio near Cincinnati, would prevent people from getting city-dispatched services if it’s the third time emergency crews have been called out for help because of an opioid overdose under certain conditions.
Councilman Dan Picard proposed the plan, after he claims the city had spent $100,000 on the lifesaving drug Naloxone, which is more commonly known as the brand name Narcan.
According to the National Institute of Health, Naloxone is a “medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.”
Picard’s plan would prevent dispatching to an overdose when the person has been provided ‘Narcan’ in two overdoses before and has not complete community service for the equivalent amount of money used on the life-saving response.
“If the dispatcher determines that the person whose overdosed is somebody’s that’s been part of this program for two previous overdoses and has not completed community service and has not cooperated in the program, then we wouldn’t dispatch,” Picard said.
The number of overdoses has seen a significant spike in Middletown.
Last year, there were 532 overdoses.
The 2017 number has already surpassed the previous year in Middletown, reaching 577 overdoses so far.
Across northeast Ohio, communities like Cleveland, Elyria, Parma, Chardon and others have seen several people need Narcan again and again after over-dosing on opioids.
The fire department in Middletown says they’re required by law to provide Narcan if they do respond to an overdose.
The legal department is now reviewing the plan.
In the meantime, the fire department is applying for grants and asking for donations to fund more Narcan.