MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — A city councilman in Ohio says he doesn't regret his suggestion that emergency crews should stop saving people who repeatedly overdose.
Middletown City Council member Dan Picard asked just over a week ago if there is a law requiring the city to respond to overdose calls. He suggested that people who overdose should be forced to do community service to make up for the cost of an emergency run.
If they overdose a third time, he said, no medics should respond.
"If you have a solution, give it to me," Picard told the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News (http://bit.ly/2soNkK9 ). "We're doing all these things, but at some point you have to have some personal responsibility in your life."
"I want to send a message to the world that you don't want to come to Middletown to overdose because someone might not come with Narcan and save your life," Picard said. "We need to put a fear about overdosing in Middletown."
Picard said his comments "snowballed," leading to nasty responses and interview requests from news outlets around the world. But he thinks the attention is positive because it shows the city is open to any solution.
"Most informed people know southwest Ohio is the epicenter of the opioid epidemic," he said. "We're not doing the 'same old, same old' and getting the same results. We're considering alternatives that can make an impact."
City Manager Doug Adkins says EMS units are dispatched for all medical emergencies as required by Ohio law.
Adkins has said Middletown is on pace to spend $100,000 on the opioid-overdose antidote naloxone, while it budgeted $10,000 for the year.