Ohio city wants to stop responding to some repeat overdose offenders

Ohio city wants to stop responding to some repeat overdose offenders
File photo. (Source: Facebook)

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - The cost of responding to drug overdoses continues to skyrocket in Middletown. Council members are trying to explore new ways relieve their financial burden, like not responding to some overdose calls.

Council member Dan Picard said last year medics responded to about 600 hundred overdoses, and the city is on track to beat that in 2017.

Each EMS run drains money from the city's account. Picard said last year the city spent $10,000 on Narcan, and is currently expecting to spend $100,000.

"If you add up all of the money that we spent I think in 2016 handling overdoses we're talking a million. The city can't afford that we're in serious trouble," said Picard.

He is now suggesting that after medics revive an addict the person will get a summons to appear in court and will have to do community service to pay back the city, which can add up to $600 or more per call.

He said if the person doesn't show up in court and has a record of incidents, medics should not have to respond to the next call for help.

"That's doesn't resolve the drug issue. What it does though, I hope is that it scares these people from coming to Middletown to do drugs," Picard said.

Darlene Winkler lost her son to a drug overdose two years ago.

"I'd hate to see someone die of an overdose," she said.

However, she's open to the idea of refusing some overdose calls. She said Narcan is just enabling addicts.

"We've seen no stories about it helping anyone. All we've seen are stories where they just go out the same night right after they're revived and so the same thing," said Winkler.

Picard said most of those who overdose are not residents in Middletown and it's time to stop them from burning through city's the resources.

"I want the word to get out don't come to Middletown and do drugs. If you're going to come to Middletown and buy your drugs you better get out of town because if you have an overdose we might not come," he said.

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