Don’t Harsh My Mellow, Man!


Emergency Kit

Have you ever taken one of those political spectra quizzes that determine whether you are conservative, libertarian or bark at the moon liberal crazy? Okay, I made that last part up, liberal. I allegedly score conservative with libertarian leanings on a consistent basis. I don’t know why because I think their foreign affairs take is naive at best. I find their stance on drug use and so-called victimless crime to also be naive and self-serving.  

However, in an effort to meet the libertarians half-way, I’d be willing to go along with their program regarding drugs if the following conditions are met. I believe these conditions are consistent with the libertarian philosophy of keeping government out of the individual’s life and individuals assume responsibility for their actions.

Libertarians seem to believe that drugs and drug use are relatively benign and drugs ought to be legalized. Okay, done. I am reserving the right to expect people perform in the workplace straight and sober. I am for drug testing in critical infrastructure and high-risk jobs. Since drugs are benign and individuals are responsible for their own actions, then there is no need for Social Security Disability payments for the alcoholic and drug addicted. That also applies for companion programs such as WIC, public housing, Food Stamps, and Medicaid. Think of the tax dollars saved, I’m starting to like this libertarian stuff.

An Ohio City Councilman has come up with an excellent idea, call it a first step. The whole fentanyl craze is outside my experience, the Mexican Mafia had the market cornered on black tar heroin in San Antonio when I was working dope. We rarely saw China White (Asian heroin) or synthetics like Fentanyl.

Ohio-councilman-maybe-stop-responding-repeat-overdose-calls.  The city budgeted $10,000 for Narcan but is likely to spend $100,000 this year.

In nearby Dayton, One East Dayton man has been revived by naloxone 20 times by police, but a Dayton police major still doesn’t agree with a Middletown politician suggesting law enforcement stop responding to opioid overdoses.“We’ve Narcan’d the same guy 20 times,” Dayton Police Major Brian Johns said. “There has to be some sort of mechanism or place for people like that. If you’re not going to get help, we’re going to require you to get some sort of treatment going. Because that is a waste of police resources.”

The first screw up is giving Narcan Kits to the police. The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that law enforcement has a general obligation to the community but no specific obligation to an individual. Take the Narcan away from the police and it is up to EMS to make the decision and render treatment. Since there may be a short window of opportunity for successful intervention, the problem becomes self-correcting. Many police departments do not carry Narcan or render first aid as a matter of policy. Liability attaches when an individual or agency has the equipment, drugs, training and expertise to use them and does so improperly.

Without those things, the cops become just another set of spectators. Hey, it’s this new libertarian kick I’m on. The junkie made a conscious decision to get high, who am I to interfere?

This approach would probably not work for EMS who operate under a different set of rules.