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City Councilman Asks If It's Possible To Stop Responding To Overdoses

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MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) - A city councilman in southwest Ohio has asked if it’s possible for city emergency crews to stop responding to drug overdose calls as costs for those calls mount.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal News reports Middletown City Council member Dan Picard has asked if there is a law requiring the city to respond to overdose calls.

Picard says arresting people who overdose increases the burden on taxpayers and strains the court system. He suggests issuing a court summons to individuals who overdose and ordering them to do community service.

He also notes that people with cancer don’t get free chemotherapy from medics nor do people having heart attacks get a free heart bypass in an EMS run. Picard asked if there was a law that requires the city to respond to overdose calls.

City Manager Doug Adkins declined to comment on Picard’s suggestions until he gets an opinion from the city’s law department.

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.

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