President Trump announced this week, the creation of a White House commission to combat America’s opioid crisis. The commission will be spearheaded by NJ Governor, Chris Christie, who lost a close family friend to a Percocet addiction. Christie has works tirelessly to end the stigma of substance abuse and to advocate for treatment rather than incarceration for addicts.
However, in Ohio, where heroin addiction has risen sharply in recent years, one town has taken a different and controversial approach to the problem. They are charging people who overdose and are revived by paramedics-with a crime. Now, the ACLU is getting involved.
From Fox News:
The American Civil Liberties Union is asking an Ohio community to end the practice of charging drug users revived by emergency responders using an overdose antidote. The ACLU’s Ohio chapter says the practice is dangerous because it discourages people from calling for help when a loved one overdoses.
Police in Washington Court House began citing people in February with a misdemeanor charge of inducing panic if responders revive them with naloxone. The city is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southwest of Columbus.
City officials and law enforcement believe the approach will allow them to track overdose victims so they can…
Offer Them Help
What officials aren’t acknowledging is that it doesn’t matter if people are convicted of the misdemeanor, it will always follow them and be a permanent “black mark” on their life. This action is the equivalent of charging food addicts with a crime for getting diabetes.
Unfortunately, the law will likely cause more deaths in the town already suffering huge losses to addiction. Those who call 911 won’t be charged but they may fear their friend or loved one will get in trouble. So, they won’t make the call that could save a life.
Some liberal media outlets are already criticizing Trump’s efforts, calling his plan “underwhelming.” If you call cracking down on drug dealers, stopping the flow of narcotics over the border, and funding substance treatment an “underwhelming” response then they are right. But it is certainly better than his predecessors “overwhelming” silence on the crisis.
Watch Chris Christie talk about addiction: