This is a serious problem: I have heard first-hand reports from local law enforcement that confirms this.
Indeed, the burden the opioid epidemic has put on police departments is unprecedented. Local forces are having to divert time and money to combat the consequences that accompany addiction, including violence, petty crimes and child neglect. With rising overdose rates, police often are the first responders to witness and intervene. In fact, it’s not unusual for medical responders to wait for police to arrive before entering an area they deem unsafe — the drug trade is dangerous and medical responders know it.
Indeed, it’s because police officers often are first on the scene that they should be the ones carrying Narcan, a brand name for the drug naloxone, which can reverse opioid overdoses.In recent days, the increased burden from overdoses has prompted some police departments to take drastic action. Some have issued notices to the communities they serve that they will not carry Narcan, be available to respond to an overdose or that they will adopt a three-strikes policy with regard to repeated overdoses. Those who advocate these measures believe they will help officers do their jobs more efficiently or, as one Ohio sheriff hopes, deter opioid abuse and help people become more self-reliant.Unfortunately, addiction is not a disease that easily allows people to take a rational approach to their actions. The threats of death and disease through addiction are nothing new to any of us. What is new is the deadlier forms of opioids that are driving the drastic increases in fatal overdoses.