What you need to know about the opioid crisis
Posted On July 9, 2021
— The opioid crisis has left more than 2 million Americans dependent on emergency medical services, including hospitals, but the city that serves them is grappling with a lack of resources, a city manager said Wednesday.
The surge in opioid overdoses has also left some local officials and police officers on edge.
“It’s really hard to find people to talk to,” said David Pascual, director of emergency services at the city of Battle Creek, in a telephone interview.
“The numbers are growing at a rapid pace,” he said.
Pascual said he and his staff have to find ways to keep emergency workers trained and respond to the situation.
This is the first week that we have been on a full weekend without a full day of work.
That’s the first time we haven’t been able to do this full weekend.
He said the department is working to fill a gap by offering an additional three weeks of pay to anyone who had been fired for substance abuse issues, and he said he hopes to hire an additional 200 more officers this year.
I think the most important thing we need to do is to get the public out of their cars and into our hospitals, he said, adding that it’s important for police officers to wear body cameras during emergencies.
There is a shortage of health care providers and there’s a lot of money to be made off of those people,” Pascua said.
Pasco County is dealing with more than 500 overdoses and at least 11 deaths each day, according to a report by the county’s health department.