Sheriff Won't Allow Deputies To Carry Life-Saving Drug

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Sheriff Richard K. Jones of Butler County, Ohio, refuses to allow his deputies to carry Narcan, a life-saving drug, to treat opioid and heroin overdose victims.

"I don't do Narcan," Jones recently told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "They never carried it. Nor will they. That's my stance."

According to Jones, people revived from a drug overdose create a danger for armed law enforcement because they are violent and are not happy to see the cops.

CNN reported in May that a 5-year-old boy was able to use Narcan to save his parents after they overdosed. The Daily Beast and WCPO both noted in 2015 that children as young as 8 years old were being trained to save people with Narcan.

Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is safely administered every day by unarmed first responders, hospital personnel and bystanders.

Jones runs the only sheriff's office in Southwest Ohio that does not administer Narcan to victims, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. Deputies in nearby Warren, Clermont and Hamilton counties are allowed to carry the life-saving drug.

The Associated Press notes that Butler County emergency personnel also use Narcan, and the county health department gives away free Narcan to friends and relatives of drug addicts.

According to the AP, Butler County set a record in 2016 with 192 drug overdose deaths.

The Columbus Dispatch noted in May that Ohio leads the nation in drug overdoses with at least 4,149 deaths in 2016, a 36 percent increase from 3,050 in 2015.

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Many county coroners told the newspaper that 2017's overdose deaths are outpacing the fatalities in 2016.

The Columbus Dispatch contacted all 88 Ohio counties to get the latest numbers, and found that an "average of 11 people died each day in 2016 from heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil or other drugs."

The final number for 2016 will actually be higher because not all of the coroners have counted their overdose fatalities, and six smaller counties refused to respond to the newspaper's request for numbers.

The Ohio Department of Health will release its data on overdose fatalities in August.

The AP reports that Sheriff Jones was a early supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016, and has demanded that the Mexican government pay his county for housing undocumented immigrants.

While running for his fourth term as sheriff in 2016, Jones told the Journal-News that his office would fight the heroin epidemic. He also railed against career politicians, a category from which he excluded himself:

I expected to do well in my fourth race. I campaign every day. I say what I think and I fight my own party. I go to local restaurants and listen to what people are saying. People are angry and they’re angry with career politicians ... I’m different and that’s why I get a lot of votes and I get the cross-over votes.

Sources: The Cincinnati Enquirer, CNN, The Daily Beast, WCPO, The Columbus Dispatch, The Associated Press via ABC News, Journal-News / Photo Credit: PunchingJudy/Flickr, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Wikimedia Commons, National Institute on Drug Abuse/Wikimedia Commons

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