Opioids and Law Enforcement - challenges for Vets

An article in the WaPo highlights an issue law enforcement professionals as well as some of our MVPN pros encounter – opioid overdoses and the ease of acquiring these drugs.  Police are increasingly drug into the world of treating drug overdoses and look for ways to reduce that.

“A lot of the officers are resistant to what we call social work. They want to go out and fight crime, put people in jail,” said Capt. Ron Meyers of the police department in Chillicothe, Ohio, a 21-year veteran who is convinced that punitive tactics no longer work against drugs. “We need to make sure the officers understand this is what is going to stop the epidemic.”

Some veterans are hesitant to accept drugs that may make it easier for them to enter treatment or reduce pain to the point where they can think of something else because they fear addiction.  Powerful drugs available today, sometimes prescribed without appropriate therapy, can lead to abuse and addiction.  They can also be dangerous even for the rescuers in an overdose situation:

In Hartford, Conn., a doctor goes with police on raids so he can treat officers who might encounter drugs; he was on vacation when 11 SWAT officers were exposed to fentanyland heroin that was atomized by a flash grenade the officers used to burst into a drug stash house, according to Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley. Three were sickened and all were sent to the hospital.

It is a challenging problem and growing awareness does not always match the willingness to pay for other treatments that could offset it:

“Law enforcement has been forced to take the lead on this, and we probably are not the best profession to be doing this because our job really is to enforce laws,” he said, noting that he has seen family after family torn apart by addiction. He keeps in touch with the children of some who have died. “I never got into police work thinking I’d watch an entire generation die of drugs.”

If you are having problems with these prescriptions or unsure about the combination of drugs and therapy you are being provided, reach out to the pros at MVPN.  Read the entire story here and ride along as these officers get after it.

March 13, 2017 - 10:11am