The first month of “Operation Save Lives” – Jacksonville’s experimental inpatient opioid treatment program – is in the books and the results are mixed.
The program, intended to address the mounting body count from the use of fentanyl and its derivatives, sees a local emergency room used as a feeder for two inpatient treatment programs, which would (at least in theory) help some of Jacksonville’s addicts beat the habit.
In practice, the program is suitable – at least thus far – for a small fraction of the patients who present themselves to emergency rooms with overdose symptoms.
From November 18 to December 18, 24 such patients manifested and just six are “receiving or pending treatment.”
Fifteen declined treatment. Two more left against medical advice.
The program may be expanded to the Southside of Jacksonville in 2018; per the city’s opioid pilot program status report, that would be “in order to increase participation in the program.”
Overdoses, at last count, end four times as many lives as homicides in Duval County, with 2016’s count of 464 casualties more than doubling 2015’s count of 201.
Caucasians represent 86 percent of the deaths. More than half of those passing away are in their 30s and 40s.