Kirkersville, Ohio Police Chief Fatally Overdoses on Fentanyl

police chief overdoses

Law enforcement and local police, in my opinion, are supposed to be one of our first lines of defense when it comes to the opioid crisis. When addicts get strung out, they wind up encountering the police more and more as their desperation increases and they continue to make illogical, poor choices in order to support their habit. The police are supposed to be there to help us safeguard our communities and a lot of the time, they’re some of the first to arrive on an overdose call. Many law enforcement agencies have their deputies carry Narcan for just such an occasion. But like I always say, as soon as we think we’re starting to get somewhere in our fight against drugs, we get pushed back a few steps. Two steps forward, one step back. Now, in Ohio, a local Police Chief is the latest high-profile victim of a fentanyl overdose, which has me wondering how bad this crisis is getting if we now have top police officials dying from IV drug use.

In Kirkersville, Ohio, the acting Police Chief, James Hughes, Jr. was found unresponsive in the bathroom of his home on May 25th of this year. He was later pronounced dead, and after an autopsy and toxicology report, the reason for death was found to be a fentanyl overdose. Of course, it was reported as “accidental” as all drug overdoses are. Reports from the coroner’s office indicated that syringes were found at the scene, one of which tested positive for fentanyl and also a baggie was found, which tested positive for cocaine.

While having a somewhat questionable record with law enforcement agencies and past employers, Hughes was appointed as Chief of Police in October of 2017. He took over the position from Steven Eric DiSario, who had been murdered five months earlier. And now he’s dead as well, murdered by his own desires and choices. While it’s definitely shocking that a Police Chief died of an OD, they’re just people like the rest of us. And just like the rest of us, they can make bad decisions to numb the pain away and find something to take the edge off. Unfortunately, Chief Hughes made the same trip down the opioid rabbit hole that many people in the country have made. And just like a lot of other’s, his trip down that hole landed him in his grave.

It's so sad to think how bad off our country is getting. There isn’t another country on the planet that loves it’s drugs like we do in the United States. We consume more drugs than anywhere else. It seems like as a nation, we have a complete inability to confront and handle our problems effectively. We walk through life wearing blinders and the drugs become our rose-colored glasses. As long as we have a buzz, everything is fine, and we have nothing to worry about.

And it’s all a lie.

A lie some of us tell ourselves every day.

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Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.