Overdoses an ongoing issue

The drug epidemic and overdoses in Lawrence County are a continual issue to the county emergency medical services.

Lawrence County EMS Director Buddy Fry informed the commission on Tuesday that county EMS responded to six drug overdoses with one death this past weekend, and another four overdoses on Monday.

Fry said that, in his estimation, on average, EMS was responding to more than one overdose per day for the year.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Ballard also mentioned that there has been a recent increase in crack, cocaine and methamphetamine usage in the county, most likely resulting from Vivitrol, a prescription drug often used in opioid addiction treatment that blocks the opioid receptors, leaving a person unable to feel the high from opioids.

Ballard added that Vivitrol does not combat the effects of crack, cocaine and methamphetamine, which has led to the spike in usage of those drugs.

Also, regarding EMS, commission renewed a contract between Cross Management Consulting Services and Lawrence County Commissioners, and a contract between Dr. Benjamin Mack, Medical Director and Lawrence County Commissioners. Fry also told the commission that Mack is donating his services to the county, forgoing $5,000 that the county will save.

Fry, who is also on the Huntington Area Habitat for Humanity Board, talked about having a Lawrence County Government Build Day for the elected of√ócials to help the group build the home it is building in Rome Township as well, which will most likely be in May.

Jim Payne, with the Lawrence County Bar Association, asked commission about a possible raise for the county attorneys. The current rate is $40 an hour for out-of-court work and $50 for in-court work.

The wanted raise would be a $10 increase to each of those.

Commission President Bill Pratt said that issue would be something to look at in 2018, as commission is currently working on the budget set in December of last year. He added that if any money were to come available to use for that, he would let them know.

Published by irontontribune.com

*click back button to return to news post list