Why do we post overdose calls to a news page? The same question surfaces routinely here among the OCSN Staff inboxes. With the influx of new visitors since 2019, we thought we would take the time to explain before we get salty with newbies.
Ocean County is suffering from a drug epidemic, it is the truth. There are likely around 50 a week countywide if we finally compiled all the data in our mailboxes. The officials keep lying and telling us that things are getting better. Well, it’s not. Officials come up with feel-good policies that hurt innocent people more than stop illicit drug use. They try to take away pain pills from those of us suffering and treat US like we’re stereotypical junkies. They think that will magically make overdoses go away. It doesn’t. Then NJ makes the medical marijuana program so difficult and expensive, that we often have to choose between food and medicine for the month.
Narcan truly is great, it is the only thing saving these peoples lives. You are free to agree or disagree with that statement, but if the drug wasn’t here- more would die. However, we can publish addresses that overdose regularly. How is it allowed to be a known drug user to law enforcement, and receive Narcan multiple times per day? How many of you are scared to go into a convenience store bathroom with your children? We are all for saving people’s lives, but where are the consequences? Please do more than a few hours at the hospital and discharge.
So, people keep abusing drugs, and there is no end in sight. Well, if we had all the answers to this epidemic, we would likely run for office. Funny how the only drug that serves a purpose and helps those of us suffering, is still lumped in with common dope in the eyes of many.
So, why do we post? Well- the authorities attempt to hide them and be vague. Toms River EMS won’t even post the call information for simple calls like MVA’s. Other towns delay or charge us for the OPRA reports which tell us who, when, where, why, and how they overdosed. We post them here to give the world a dose of reality. The shit we post on this website is the stuff that is happening in OUR communities as it happens. We share the good, the bad, and the downright comical. Maybe if enough people see all the overdoses and deaths, we will finally call on our elected officials to do something.
Start with comprehensive mental health, and find out why people are using. Likely nobody enters this world desiring to be a street junkie with no purpose in life. What brought them to using illicit drugs? Bet we all would be surprised to hear the answers.
Throwing money at the problem isn’t solving anything. Paying for dose after dose of Narcan and countless Ambulance Rides, Visits to Hospitals, it adds up. It seems unfair to keep spending money masking the issue instead of getting to the root cause.
So, until someone makes a policy that actually changes lives for the better, we will keep showing the failures of the current administrations. We already came to a compromise of NOT publishing the exact addresses of the overdoses. As long as this page is running, and as long as people are dying, we will keep posting. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Maybe somewhere someday an addict will see all these posts and think they could be next and make a smart decision to put the needle down. We can hope!
Also, on a side note. Please don’t make me run for office- figure this out yourselves.
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