CINCINNATI (AP) — First responders in U.S. communities reeling from waves of heroin overdoses say some people tell them they should just say no to using so many resources on drug abusers.
Authorities say people have expressed frustration about rescuing addicts who often immediately resume using the potentially deadly drug. There are also concerns voiced about the wide-ranging social and government budget costs involved, including for the overdose antidote naloxone.
Some signs of heroin overdose backlash:
— Gov. Paul LePage in hard-hit Maine vetoed legislation this year to expand access to naloxone, usually under the brand name Narcan. He has explained that when people are receiving a dozen or more doses, they should start having to pay for it. The Legislature overrode his veto.
— An effort by authorities in Ohio’s Hamilton County to get a dangerous heroin batch off the streets by offering immunity for people who turn in drugs drew a rebuke from Sheriff Richard Jones in neighboring Butler County, who argued it only enables dealers and users and gives them an excuse if they are caught.