Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Bexar County to give Narcan to addicts exiting jail, but many still won't call 911 for fear of felony arrest

Addicts leaving the county jail in San Antonio will now receive a dose of Narcan in case they overdose, the Express News reported. Overdoses are more common after incarceration because addicts may have lost some of their tolerance. That can cause people to overdose when they use the same amounts they used before. Funding for the program came from a federal grant.

Of course, folks can still be arrested for drug possession if they call 911 to report an overdose. A Bexar Sheriff's deputy told the paper that:
people shouldn’t be concerned about contacting authorities should a friend or family member overdose. 
“That’s the least of your worries at that point, ending up in jail,” he said. “You should be worried about surviving, or about leaving your child without a mother or father.”
That's easy to say, but it would mean more if Gov. Greg Abbott hadn't vetoed Good Samaritan legislation in 2015 that would have prevented 911-callers from being arrested for calling in an overdose.

In 2018, the Austin Statesman reported that, "similar laws in other states have resulted in as much as a 15 percent drop in opioid overdoses in the past five years, despite nationwide increases. The laws also do not appear to increase the number of drug users, the data shows."

That's shaping up as one of the worst and most destructive vetoes of Abbott's tenure so far.

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