Build on overdose success

Published 9:01 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Lawrence County EMS Director Buddy Fry announced at the last meeting of the Lawrence County Commission that drug overdoses in the county have declined significantly since the beginning of the year.

In January 2017, EMS had to make 59 drug overdose runs, compared with 27 in August, according to Fry.

The fact that this rate is 46 percent of what it was earlier in the year is a great improvement.

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Fry could not pinpoint exactly what was leading to the reduced rate, but said new programs by the county prosecutor and sheriff may be a factor.

After EMS visits an overdose victim, they return and offer the person a choice of a rehab program or face being charged with drug possession.

Promoting the option of treatment and rehabilitation is necessary to get at the root of the problem, rather than simply giving people jail time.

Officials, as well as those running treatment programs, are to commended for all they have done to combat the epidemic.

These programs should continue and officials should study the result and better try to determine what is working and try to build on that success.