CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Just when the opioid epidemic seems to be as bad as it can be, you hear another story that makes you shake your head.
That would seem to be the case in Montgomery County and Cheatham County Tuesday after a man overdosed three times in the same day.
Cheatham County EMS and Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Shell station on Highway 41 A Tuesday night around 6 p.m.
Deputies were responding to an overdose call.
When first responders arrived, they found a father on his hands and knees doing chest compressions on his 23-year-old son in the parking lot.
On the deputy’s bodycam you can hear the father urging his son to hang in there.
“Come on stay with stay with me come on.”
The father told investigators that this was the third time on Tuesday alone that his son had overdosed.
“He has been twice today. This morning he was in class and he was asleep and they couldn’t wake him up so they called the ambulance. I’m sure he is using don’t get me wrong.”
The father says his son overdosed in the morning while in class at Austin Peay. Investigators say the man was given Narcan, taken to the hospital and released.
According to the father, after being released from the hospital, his son overdosed a second time. And again, he was given Narcan. He was taken to the hospital, again.
After being released it happened again. According to the father, on the way home,
the 23-year-old overdose a third time. So the father pulled over at the Shell station, called 911 and began trying to save his son’s life for the third time in one day.
On bodycam, the man’s extremely distraught mother can be heard saying, “I’m so over this. I just want him to be ok. I’m so sick of this.”
The deputy who helped Narcan her son responds, “it’s understandable.”
The mother, still filled with emotions, would later say this as her son was loaded into an ambulance to go to his third hospital for his third OD of the day.
“The third freaking time today are you kidding me? He’s going to go down there. He’s going to wake up. They are going to take him out again. And I know this is how it works.”
“Yes, sir. She has every emotion in the world. She is angry at him for doing this to their family. She is scared that he is he going to die. She is frustrated. This is three times in one day. How are we going to fix this?” said Lt Ken Miller with the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Department.
The young man was again taken to the hospital. His condition is not known and he was not charged with any crime.
Ken Miller calls this an epidemic that affects every facet of society. Not just the person who overdoses, and their family, but also the first responders, the hospital staff, and taxpayers who subsidize the substantial amount of resources it takes to revive one victim.
And then there’s the other angles Miller points out like burglaries and robberies to get the money to buy drugs to further a habit that pushes people to overdose over and over.
“Absolutely, this epidemic is affecting every aspect of society,” Miller says.
In the past, some people have questioned why so much money is spent on trying to keep people alive that keep trying to kill themselves.
To those people, Miller says, “Can you sit there while your child dies and not do a damn thing about it? I can’t. You couldn’t. What are you going to do? Everyone’s life has value. Everyone has a chance to turn their life around. It is not my place to decide who lives and dies. It is not my officers’ place to decide who lives and dies.”
According to Cheatham County EMS, in the first 43 days of 2020, emergency crews have given 37 doses of Narcan to 22 patients.