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Middletown city council member withdraws plan to withhold Narcan

Middletown city council member withdraws plan to withhold Narcan. (WKRC)

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKRC) - A local city changes course on a controversial plan to deal with the opioid crisis.

Under it, medics would not have to revive repeat overdose victims.

The plan to withhold Narcan received worldwide attention.

Councilman Dan Picard says that even though he's withdrawing it now, the problem is still there and not going away.

Middletown Councilman Dan Picard proposed a “three strikes and you’re out” plan. If you overdosed on heroin and didn't do community service after twice being revived with Narcan, paramedics would not respond a third time.

Picard realized that would put the city in a tough legal position.

Middletown is on pace to spend over $100,000 on Narcan. Picard says the city can’t keep spending this kind of money.

While some supported his plan, others were angry.

While some still support Picard's original plan, others welcome his decision to withdraw it.

Picard says he's glad he started a conversation and that he wishes he had a solution to what he says is a problem that goes way beyond Middletown.

The heroin crisis led the Middletown council to approve an additional $30,000 in funding to cover overtime for police investigations.

To give you an idea how paramedics are being tied up, a Middletown police officer was injured in a fall in the parking lot two weeks ago. It took paramedics more than 10 minutes to get the police department. All three life squads were tied up, one on a heroin overdose.

There were nearly 600 paramedic runs for heroin overdoses through June in Middletown. That's already more than the total for all of last year: 532.

The city is also on pace to surpass last year's number of heroin-related deaths.

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