Police officers, medics would remind overdose victims to seek treatment, counseling.
Frederick, Md (KM). During many overdose calls, police officers and EMT’s who are dispatched to the scene often have to administer Naloxone which counters the affects of an overdose. But too often the survivor of the overdose doesn’t seek treatment for their addictions, but police and EMT’s will continue to respond and use Narcan to reverse the affects of an overdose.
Frederick County Delegate Karen Lewis Young (D) says she’s preparing a bill which would require overdose victims to get into treatment and counseling. “A bill I’m calling tough love which means after a second or third time law enforcement administers Naloxone, that individual must go to some form of treatment,’ she says.
But Young says at this time, the bill doesn’t specify how often an officer must administer Naloxone before a victim decides seek help. “We want a long term outcome that’s good for everybody because at some time, law enforcement isn’t going to get there fast enough,” she says.
Despite all the overdose calls that police offices and EMT’s respond to, Delegate Young says neither one will refuse to administer Naloxone, no matter how many times they respond to the same address for an overdose call. “There will be consequences. What those consequences will be: it could be going to drug court; it could be some other form of detainment,” she said. “But I don’t think we would ever see a situation where law enforcement would say ‘nope, not savin’ you this time.'”
The Maryland General Assembly begins its session on Wednesday, January 10th at 12:00 Noon in Annapolis.
Young says she will be dealing with other issues this term such as a patient bill of rights at hospitals; making sure emergency management personnel know where private toxic labs are located; increasing the scope of practice for optometrists so that more people can get eye care; as well as a bill dealing with Lyme disease.
She says constituents who want to keep in touch with her during the Session can send an e-mail to email@example.com. They can also call her office in Annapolis at 410-841-3436.
By Kevin McManus