Cincinnati: Clean needles and Narcan in the mail

WCPO9: Newtown police Chief Tom Synan worries when he sees Hamilton County’s overdose deaths drop into single digits, he said Wednesday. He knows it could be good news — fewer people using, more users getting clean. But it could also be a sign of something much worse coming his way.

“When you see single-digit numbers, you know there is something probably going on with the drug supply,” said Synan, who heads the Hamilton County Addiction Coalition.

Like everything else in 2020, drug trafficking rings are experiencing supply chain interruptions, according to Synan. The ensuing cycles of feast and famine create a potentially deadly environment for users, who lose their tolerance and become more vulnerable to overdose in the meantime.

And traditional addiction treatment methods such as inpatient rehab or house calls aren’t always viable at a safe social distance.

So health organizations, anti-addiction groups and drug treatment centers are trying new tactics. The Hamilton County Health Department opened a text line. Health workers put Narcan in the mail. more

13 Comments on Cincinnati: Clean needles and Narcan in the mail

  1. I think this guy is more concerned with the possibility of dropping funding levels. Just put some confiscated fentanyl back out on the streets, that’ll get the numbers back up.

  2. Maybe the Newton Coroner decided to take some of the drug deaths and put them in his Covid pile to get more Fed money. I can imagine the slap fight between the Chief and the Coroner over who owns the stiffs:

    Chief: Hey, hands off those are my drug overdoses;
    Coroner: no their not they’re my Covid infected; (grabs and arm of one of the stiffs and starting pulling him away)
    Chief: No you don’t (grabbing the same stiffs leg and pulling)
    Coroner: you Bastard (slapping the Chief in the face):
    Mayor: WHAT’s going on here? You’re both wrong, those are voters for Biden’s election in November and they’re not dead! Yet.

  3. …Oh, my dear, sweet Lord, so much to unpack here, so very, very much…

    …well first, about me. Pretty vain, I know, but I like to get my credentials out there so you know I’m not just a mook who only knows the Hollywood version, or the folks who say “Well, you don’t know CINCINNATI, we’re DIFFERENT here”, like it’s a racist thing. And also I’m not blowing my own horn, I was just a dork who liked pretty lights, I never saved a life although sometimes the Lord I didn;t even know reached THROUGH me and did so. To Him be the glory, if it wasn’t me, it would have just been someone else. But that said…

    I’ve lived around the Cincinnati area bascially my entire life. Oh, I’m told there was ONE good year after I was born that I didn’t, but I don’t remember much about it, since my priorities were eating, sleeping, pooping, and growning at that point. I know well the area, it’s people, and it’s demographic changes over time.

    I ran Squad not IN Cincinnati but with an agency in the area for a decade, a quarter century ago, so I know a little about the specifics of its drug problems and treatments. I’ve had patients who were treated with Narcan vomit on me, attack me, not respond because they mixed their herion with other drugs, and had bodies with veins so collapsed everywhere that ALL the standard injection sites were destroyed, and you had to treat the respiratory arrest while dragging them to the hosptial and trying to find a nice place to stick a big needle (Nasal Narcan not being a “thing” then and Central Lines being frowned on in the field when you’re not that far from a hospital), so I can tell you a bit of admittedly dated information about what went on to address it before.

    More recently I trained for an am an industrial First Responder, so I also have somewhat more current, if also more limited, knowledge available. I have also served on Hamilton County juries, ridden Metro busses, done business within and without the City of Cincinnati, seen it through two sets of riots (so far) and avoid it like the plauge unless there is a REAL good, unavoidable reason to go there, so I know whereof I speak.

    I have extended family NOT from around here that has kids so addicted they’ve sold the family TV for a score before, and injected their way out of several good jobs, so I have their experiences to draw from.

    I also have friends, one of whom once saved my life once, who have adult children addicts, so I know something from conversations with him about modern herion addiction, supply, and treatment from a helpless parent’s perspective. I’m not going to get too far into his story or his son’s other than to say that it’s quite a lesson on the grip that drug has on people and what it does to entire families, despite publicised “advances” in treatment like suboxone.

    And from all that, this.

    There’s no hope, no help, no treatment, no way out, but in the Lord.

    I’ve never seen a treament work, an addict break his addition in any way but death, a counselor that could talk an addict out of his drugs, a family that could shame him from them, or a cop or a doctor that could scare him from them.

    It’s THAT powerful.

    …Detox is meant to break the physical addition. Your brain grows to run on heroin and so you have real, physical problems with withdrawal when you suddenly stop. Step down therapies like Methadone usually prove to be little more than trading one addition for another, but that is sometimes used in controlled settings to get past the phsyical part to where you at least don’t have the grimy-feeling skin, muscle aches, anxieties, and diarheea any more. So now you’re sitting in a treatment center bed, clear of the drug, and looking for a reason not to take it.

    And that’s where it doesn’t work. You consider YOURSELF to be filth, irredemable, unsalvageable, lost to those who love you because of the horrid way you acted and the evil things you did to get that drug. You’ve shit on your loved ones, sold their crap, beat them when they tried to help you, left your kids hungry while YOU went out to get high, and in many cases dragged your husband/wife/lover/baby momma into it WITH you. YOU, by your OWN thoughts, are vermin, unfit for human society.

    And all the counseling center can do is give you secular reasons to quit.

    “it messes with your body”, they say. True, but you LIKE the way it messes with your head.

    “it makes you lose your job”, they say. True, but it ALSO made it hard to get ANOTHER one, and who needs all THAT aggrivation when you can just steal?

    “you shouldn’t do it because of your family”, they say. True, but you haven’t the faintest idea about how to fix THAT mess, you feel unworthy and unable to do it, but when you shoot UP, it makes you not CARE.

    …and on and on, lots of good reasons that are ultimately lost on a person who will be returning to a world where he’s built his entire life, his community of friends, in many cases his lover, out of people who share his addiction and will still do it around him. Lost on a person who will be treated with suspicion and doubt by the unaddicted members of his loving family who, however much they love him, will have doubt EvERY TIME he’s late from somewhere, EVERY TIME something comes up missing, EVERY TIME he’s tired or not wanting to interact, it’s just human nature. Lost on someone who can’t get a job becasue he can’t explain the gaps in his resume or why he lost the LAST one. Lost on someone who’s body has been damaged, his veins ravaged, his systems weakened by infection after infection, and his mind always circling back to how GOOD it feels to not worry about ANY of this when held in King Herion’s arms.

    …and so it fails. He goes back to the world and again becomes part OF the world. Temporarily fixing the body does NOTHING to PERMANANTLY fix the soul, and NO secular treatment center can do that because their nature and sometimes their funding forbids bringing God into it.

    But only God can break an addiction.

    Only God can give you your sense of worth back as one of His children.

    Only God can brake the hold “The Crave” has over you by making you crave His Word instead.

    Only God can fix it.

    There are ministries where the pastor and some of the congregation are, in fact, FORMER addicts. Yes, FORMER. Good, God fearing, Bible-beating, blood-bought Christian ministries that CAN and HAVE broken the beast by turing to the Lord. It DOES happen.

    But not WITHOUT Him.

    …I’m sure someone, somewhere, has a story about how their own strength, the love of a good woman, the ass-kicking of a concerned father turned them around. I’m sure someone, somewhere, will say they lifted themselves out of the gutter and made a life for themselves. It may have been possible somewhere, somehow.

    But I personally have NEVER seen it, so I can only speak to what I KNOW.

    When I was out in sin, I was still able to do things, sometimes very DANGEROUS things, and somehow made it to adulthood alive, But it wasn’t always EASY trying to do things by my own strenght, and I have many failures to PROVE it.

    And when I look back at times that I SHOULD have died but didn’t, times I SHOULDN’T have been able to save a life but I did, and times I SHOULD have been cast aside by my family but wasn’t,

    from the perspective of years and a better understanding of the Bible, I can see where the hand of God was on me, even THEN, even when younger me was a tough guy that “didn’t need Him”, where He knew He was going to use me later so He sighed, rolled up his sleeves, and pulled me out of my own stupidity yet again, knowing full well He would’nt get thanks or even CREDIT from me for it.

    Until LATER. Now, for instance.

    God plays a LONG game.

    “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
    Jeremiah 1:5

    …not saying I am a prophet, but I AM saying that God KNOWS how and when He will use people, and acts accordingly.

    And only God can provide the heroin addict with that assurance that he CAN be redeemed, that he CAN come to Him no matter WHAT he’s done, that he WILL be loved by Him if only he seeks His face.

    The Bible is replete with these, like Jesus giving the parable of the vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16 or or the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, among others. I wish I could put them here but they are long and so am I, but look them up and you’ll see.

    The Lord wants us ALL to come back.

    Even heroin addicts.


    Send out Narcan? Sure, why not, pretty hard to give it to YOURSELF, thought, and I hope if someone ELSE does they are prepared to deal with you vomiting and being attacked for ending their “high” so abruptly, and that you KNOW that they are just gonna do it again.

    Send out needles? Sure, why not, looking forwards to finding THOSE in bathrooms, sidewalks, and shrubberies all over SW OH real soon. Although they kind of like shooting up in their CARS now, WHILE DRIVING, so maybe SOME will be contained, although the person they HIT may not appreicate the courtesy…

    …do what you do, politicians. Lie, half-ass, get money for it, enrich your friends and yourself through graft and kickbacks, then blame Trump, Republicans, and a lack of funding WHEN it fails, and try to use it to get MORE money to fund MORE graft and MORE failure. It’s who you ARE, it’s what you DO.

    …but it will NEVER work.

    …and it will NEVER change the TRUTH.

    Which is, with God, ALL things are possible. (Matt 19:26 Even quitting heroin.

    …but with Democrats, NOTHING is possible, and that’s kind of on PURPOSE.

    God bless those people who TRY to save them physically,

    And God bless those same people with the knowledge that that is ONLY possible with YOU.

  4. …meanwhile, my insulin-dependent mother-in-law who lives in Cincinnati isn’t getting HER needles for free, it’s just for the pleasure drug crowd…

  5. “meanwhile, my insulin-dependent mother-in-law who lives in Cincinnati isn’t getting HER needles for free”

    SF and LA hands them out daily. But when I lived in LA county, I had to have Rx, ID and a limit on how much I was allowed per month.
    At the time, I had to inject up to 10 times per day, (single use syringe, of course) so 1 box of 100 ct. was complete bullshit. I had to get special instructions from my Endo to get 3 boxes per month.

    Now, I use an insulin pump BUT I still need syringes in case my sugar goes out of control and I need a quick fast bolus of insulin.
    Still, I’m questioned about it at the pharmacy when I order a box.
    Even with all the contraptions stuck to my body (the pump itself, long tubing, infusion tape, etc.) and being on record buying insulin for years.

    So. Being a mean person that I am. I hope this whole ‘program’ goes so out of control, it maims the useless, evil, irredeemable drug deviants so hard before they can hurt others.

  6. Vegas has Narcan in some vending machines. Not gambling machines y’all, if you put the money in you actually get the Narcan.

  7. This is enabling the addict. It’s too bad some have to die, but consider the cost to the rest of society for trying to make people “recover” who aren’t ready and willing. I’m all for rehab, but if the addict isn’t willing, it isn’t going to work. Dying is a risk, and if we remove that risk more people will continue to try and push the boundaries.


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