GATES, NY (WROC) - In a statement supporting a push to bring on an expert to assist in the fight against the opioid crisis, Gates police say a woman's life was saved twice after two overdoses in a day.
Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode says officers responded Tuesday night to a hotel for a report of an overdose. At the scene, they used Narcan to revive her and the woman was taken to the hospital.
In her purse, officers found papers showing she had just been released from the hospital at 2 p.m. that afternoon for another overdose.
Chief VanBrederode says the department followed up on Wednesday to see if the woman had been admitted following the second OD only to learn the hospital had discharged her again.
"We have no idea what, if anything, was done to offer assistance to this person who is a clear threat to themselves by this addiction," the police chief writes. "The Police Dept. will be attempting to locate her and offer assistance through our Gates to Recovery – but this isn’t the best way to be doing business."
Chief VanBrederode says this is just one example why local leaders need an opioid drug czar -- a person in charge that can "coordinate the efforts, understands the short comings in the medical or treatment system, has the authority (title/position) to implement policy changes in the medical world."
The chief is backing calls by new Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter this week. Baxter told WXXI he our area needs someone that can coordinate with police agencies and hospitals.
Chief VanBrederode concludes his statement by saying: "Law Enforcement and the other First Responders are waiting for these pieces of the puzzle to be fixed. We need a unified and coordinated response; there are many great agencies, non - profits, government programs that are out there trying to make a difference, however we lack the leadership portion.
"In closing, it is now 2018, another year gone by and some of the systemic changes that seem common sense are still lacking."
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