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The Heroin Epidemic


Last night for the second time in the past six months a Signal 88 Officer had responded to a drug overdose. Both times the overdose was heroin, and sadly both times, despite the best efforts of our officers and EMT's the person died.

We have an epidemic of heroin in Northeast Ohio and it's killing people. Across America the US Justice Department indicates that 110 people die of heroin overdose EVERY SINGLE DAY. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a recent statement “The shocking increase in overdose deaths illustrates that addiction to heroin and other opioids, including some prescription painkillers, represents nothing less than a public health crisis."

For my part as an owner of a security company that has dealt with two situations involving heroin overdoses I'm investigating ways I might better equip my officers to deal with these situations. One option I'm seriously considering is training and equiping my officers with the heroin antidote Naloxone. Obviously such a decision has to be carefuly weighed against the risks, but I'm at my wits end.

The first death encountered by a Signal 88 Officer from a heroin overdose invloved a mid 30's healthy male. As our Signal 88 Officer performed CPR his three childred all under the age of 10 watched the officer attempt to revive their dad and said things like "don't die daddy" and "don't let my daddy die". No kid should have to go through what those kids did. No security officer should either.

I'm not going to get into the morality, ethics etc. of the drug problem. It is what it is. My priority now is providing my officer's with the best training and equipment to deal with this problem as best we can.

I hope we never have another OD case that we have to deal with, but I'm not hopeful. The best I can do is make darn sure my employees are trained and have the right equipment to handle the next one.

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