At a recent opiate summit held for overdose response in Scioto County, more grim news emerged concerning the addiction, overdoses, and response logistics. Scioto County Commissioners Chairman Bryan Davis said all law enforcement agencies, the Scioto County EMA, city and county health departments, and other health-related fields. In addition several service agencies attended.
“Our emergency room visits year to date are almost equal to what they were for the entire year last year on opiate-related emergency room visits already at the end of April,” Davis said. “We have a real crisis on our hands.”
Davis said much of the discussion centered around Narcan, an opiate antidote. Opioids include heroin and prescription pain pills like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone and Vicodin.
“We discussed the administration of Narcan, rights and wrongs, what is the end game here? what can we do? What is everybody thinking?” Davis said. “I thought it was good. I thought it was good to listen and to really hear.”
Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree said the session was informative, then added – “The drug problem, as we all know, has gotten worse. No matter what we do, over the last 50 years it has gotten worse and worse and worse and worse.”
Crabtree said it is time to reevaluate.
“Apparently what we’re doing is not working,” Crabtree said. “I think a lot of people were trying to discuss things that we could do different or better that might alleviate the situations. The problem it is, with drugs, once people get on drugs, they’re no longer reasonable and they don’t understand the consequence of what they’re doing.”
Crabtree said the information that a lot of people are dying from overdoses is common knowledge in the community.
“Apparently there is no fear of that,” Crabtree said. “I think they have got the notion that no matter what they do there’s going to be somebody there to save them. Sometimes Narcan, when you give somebody 10 doses of that stuff to save their life, it’s not sinking in. They say that some of them will actually, once they regain consciousness, will just get up and leave. They won’t follow the next step – go to the hospital and maybe try to get some treatment. I heard a lot of frustration in the room.”
Crabtree said he believes no one knows what step to take going forward.
“It was a good idea to get together to see exactly where we are,” Crabtree said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.