One of the big debates around the country is over the use of Narcan and the cost of this drug. Narcan is drug used to counteract an overdose on opioids. From cities looking to adopt a three strike policy to departments looking for a total ban, we are debating the value of a human life. So here lies the dilemma, what price do we put on a human life. If it is your son or daughter, is the answer different than someone we see only as an addict? While cost has to be considered in every faction of operations, how and where do we draw the line?

Last week the president declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. While this did not free up any resources to fight this epidemic, it hopefully will bring a deeper understanding of the issues we face.
Around the country in communities such as ours, the opioid and heroine epidemic is quickly growing out of control. How did we get here and how do we reverse this horrifying trend? Almost as important what do we do until then?
First we should understand that I am not the expert on this addiction, I speak from what I have seen, what I have read, and what I have heard. There are so many factors that need to be considered as we as a community addresses this problem. We cannot wait for the Federal Government to develop the plan, the guidelines and the funding to begin addressing this, we as a community need to plan for the “What do we do until then” question.
What role does education play in this?
What roles do city, county and District Budgets play into this?
What programs are out there that have had some success and can we learn from them?
The State of New Hampshire has taken a proactive approach to this issue with a program called Safe Station. At any time of day or night when the victim of substance misuse disorder decides or gathers up the courage to ask for help he or she can go to any MFD Station and speak to the Firefighters on duty. As most City hospital Emergency Rooms may be overwhelmed with patients, this program assists all by weeding out those individuals seeking assistance that may not need immediate medical attention but need immediate help. Many times a person knows they need treatment but does not know where to turn for help. This program comes at a cost this is where to majority of the debate begins.
One of the big debates around the country is over the use of Narcan and the cost of this drug.  Narcan is drug used to counteract an overdose on opioids. From cities looking to adopt a three strike policy to departments looking for a total ban, we are debating the value of a human life. So here lies the dilemma, what price do we put on a human life. If it is your son or daughter, is the answer different than someone we see only as an addict?  While cost has to be considered in every faction of operations, how and where do we draw the line?
Middletown Ohio has been debating this and actually looked to institute the three strikes policy. The town was considering the policy the was written like this: "If the dispatcher determines that the person who's overdosed is someone who's been part of the program for two previous overdoses and has not completed the community service and has not cooperated in the program, then we wouldn't dispatch.” One of the City Council Member quoted as saying he was not aiming to solve the drug problem; it’s an attempt to save the city’s finances.
We are at a crossroads and need to determine which way to turn...