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Ohio Town Now Charging Overdose Survivors

It’s a tad humorous at times how life can catch up to us so quickly and catch us off guard. We start our lives out in adolescence with time and eternity seeming synonymous and then POOF- we blink a few times and we find ourselves growing up and looking at the trials of life face to face. Battles scars occur on the outside, marking our flesh as well as upstairs inside our skulls. Fortunately, as human beings, we are survivors and the bulk of us carry on through the wounds. Unfortunately, though, in this day of age, some of us have more demons on our shoulders than angels and these battle scars become that of something self-inflicted. This doesn’t make us bad people at all, but the struggle can be much more for some than others. Mental illness or diseases are something that nobody in their right mind would ask for. Nobody plans in their blueprints to have heart disease or autism- but it happens. The same goes for addiction and alcoholism. Chemical dependency is something that can be controlled but not cured. It is a disease that steals its victims’ souls as they turn into puppets and dance around by the decree of various narcotics and alcohol. So when a small town in central Ohio passes a law to start charging overdose survivors- you can imagine the outrage that is and will follow suit.

In Rides Washington Court House

The state of Ohio is right on the front lines of this addiction epidemic that is taking over the country. Sitting right in the midst of all the victims and overdose survivors to addiction and alcoholism sits a town by the name of Washington Court House. This is a town that took advantage of its ability to formulate and pass laws and created one that didn’t necessarily have enough research done on the matter.

For one, it’s easy for people who are not afflicted with alcoholic tendencies to have little compassion and understanding for the disease. It’s hard to believe something is there for some people if you cannot see it. However, there’s no time for seeing and believing with this disease specifically. Over the course of the last few years, those falling victim to the disease of addiction are increasing dramatically across the country. Ohio leads the 50 United States in overdoses deaths and overdose survivors with every year showing more and more of an increase than the previous. So in that same breath, it’s quite understandable for the frustration of city and state officials as more and more citizens wind up in the obituary section of the newspaper.

At the same time, this disease of addiction and alcoholism turn individuals completely powerless to it as their lives unfold into unmanageability and misery in most situations. It can’t possibly be a stigma either when the world’s top health institutions and professionals of the world such as the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization agree that it is a disease that has yet to find a cure for its ailment. One point stated by Standford psychiatrist Anna Lembke quoted, ”If you see somebody who continues to use despite their lives being totally destroyed- losing their jobs, losing their loved ones, going to jail- nobody would choose that. Nobody anywhere would ever choose that life. So it is clearly beyond the individuals control on some level.” Her statement could not be more accurate. If it was as simple as “just say no” like Nancy Reagan put it- don’t you think more addicts and alcoholics would start doing so? More overdose survivors would actually overdose and never use such narcotics again should they come out of such respiratory or cardiac failure. Being stuck in active addiction or alcoholism blinds addicts/alcoholics to the reality of their situation. Unfortunately, for most, it’s not until overdoses begin happening that they actually get some form of a wake-up call to their disease taking over.  

overdosed man with heroin and needle

Charging overdose survivors is completely unfair in all actuality. To save somebody’s life from a disease that is slowly killing them shouldn’t be taxed as such. There will be too many addicts that can’t afford their fines and will be put into jail for not being able to afford what the American court system will put them through. Up to $1,000 fine or even 180 days in jail should the city of Washing Court House have to use Narcan and revive a person from the shallow grips of death. The United States already leads the world in most incarcerated persons per capita and now we have cities that are creating laws that will only increase such. The thing is that we can’t start jailing people for having heart attacks or cancer and happen to need medical help from AER’s or Chemotherapy. They aren’t treated like criminals but received as human beings and offered the help they truly deserve. Well, the same should go without hesitation to those that are dropping like flies from a disease they have no where-with-all about.

Research, as well as trial and error, show without a doubt that the best recovery for an individual in active addiction/alcoholism is to offer them help such as treatment or being properly medicated in some more severe manners. Incarcerating people over something they cannot control is inhumane. This epidemic is taking over our country as well as the state of Ohio, but that doesn’t mean that we have to lose all civility. One who knows nothing can understand nothing. So to punish an addict for a disease he has but is not properly educated about is actually really egregious. Everybody needs a little bit of help and compassion in this life at the end of the day.

Fine or Not- Stop Your Next Overdose from Happening

The disease of addiction is a tricky one that will do its best to put you in a grave and have you meet your reaper. Overdose survivors- don’t let this chemical dependency end your life prematurely. Do something about it before it does something about you. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

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