Sheriff Richard Jones of Butler County, Ohio is a tough sheriff. In this particular county, opioid overdose is the number one leading cause of death. Jones is tired of it. As of now, he is refusing to let his officers carry naloxone, or Narcan. Narcan is the brand name of the drug that is used to revive victims of overdose.
Richard Jones is a Trump-supporting blowhard, who has never apologized for his views on several controversial subjects. He has said that we should drop the MOAB on Mexican cartels and has said that addiction is not a disease. While it isn’t a disease in a traditional sense – it’s not Polio – it is most certainly a disease of the mind.
Jones has recently told the Cincinnati Enquirer,
[My officers] never carried it. Nor will they. That’s my stance. I don’t do Narcan. This Narcan, all it does is save people’s lives for another day. You enable these people when you give them this Narcan.
He went on to say that the only way his officers will carry Narcan is if he is court-ordered to do so. He explains that he has based his opinion on the fact that the victims of overdose become violent on waking up and aren’t happy to see cops around them. That sounds completely plausible. However, is giving a person another chance at life, recovery, and redemption worth it? We say, “ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY!”
Jones tried to justify his stance with the assertion that emergency life squads would still be administering Narcan to those who need it, but it’s too expensive for his department and his boys. He gave an appreciative nod toward Nancy Reagan and her “Just Say No” campaign in the 80s. Instead of convincing kids not to use drugs, the hysteria surrounding drug use helped create zero-tolerance policies that have led to mass incarceration.
Men like these should not be leading law enforcement. Men like these further the lack of empathy in our society regarding drug addiction and twist the meaning of the word. The views of people like Jones show that police shouldn’t be leading the public health policy response to the overdose epidemic.