His comments were made more than a week ago but have gained nationwide attention in recent days. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:
Let them die. That was the jarring message from Middletown City Councilman Dan Picard. A day before Middletown’s council meeting on June 20, City Manager Doug Adkins attended a local heroin summit. He told people there the city was on pace to spend $100,000 on Narcan, a medicine that can block the effects of opioids and is often used by first responders to reverse an overdose.
Picard, swinging his hands in the air, eventually asked the city manager: “Is there a law that says we have to go out?” He was talking about responding to overdoses. The question sat there for several seconds without a reply. It was a stunning question, underscoring the depth of the heroin epidemic and mounting frustration as it continues to get worse.
“We need to make a decision,” he said in the meeting. “Because, frankly, I’m to the point of we need to make a decision that perhaps we don’t.” Adkins told The Cincinnati Enquirer he has asked the city’s law department to analyze whether it is legal to refuse to dispatch for an overdose.
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Picard is standing by his comments, saying “we need to put a fear about overdosing in Middletown.” His comments garnered much attention and criticism. “Councilman Picard’s comments went viral and we’ve received hate mail, national news coverage and overloaded voice mail and email in-boxes,” Middletown City Manager Douglas Adkins wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “Except nothing has changed at all whatsoever,” he continued. “We are responding to every call and rendering aid as needed. We give Narcan where it is appropriate. Period.”