Cincinnati had 50 overdoses in less than 24 hours. Police, hospital workers, and emergency responders in Cincinnati, Ohio had a very busy week, but things got out of hand between Tuesday morning and Wednesday night.
Between fifty to eighty 911 calls were made around the city reporting overdoses on heroin. Emergency responders rushed to restaurants, a car crash, and even an ice cream parlor to save drug users.
While most of the victims survived the ordeals, one man died and was seen by many residents being carried away in a body bag. Richard Henson, who was shocked by the death, told local media:
“I am very disturbed about it.It really saddens my heart.”
According to Tom Synan, Newtown Police Chief and head of the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force, the heroin that caused the overdoses was mixed with fentanyl, carfentanil or even rat poison. Synan revealed:
“Each of these ingredients is known to produce a greater high and a greater risk of overdose and death than pure heroin.”
The killer drug combination causes more deaths because it is resistant to treatments like Narcan that have reduced overdose mortality rates. The police confirmed that one of the people, who overdosed on heroin in Cincinnati, had to be given two doses of Narcan, in vain. Cincinnati police pay $40 for a dose of Narcan.
Synan, who is furious at the drug dealers pushing the deadly cocktail in the streets, said:
“I’ve got to say to whoever pushed this out on the street, this was the wrong thing to do.”
As a law enforcer, he went on to make an unusual plea; he asked people to stop temporarily using drugs. He begged residents:
“We’re urging you, please don’t do heroin right now.If for no other reason, because we don’t know what’s in the stuff on the street.”
He went on to add:
“You now have the full and undivided attention of the Hamilton County Coalition Task Force, which includes local, state and federal agencies, and I can tell you we’ll all be working with the Cincinnati Police Department to see who pushed this out on the street.”
Police suspect that many drug dealers are selling the deadly heroin, and this is where the story takes a very morbid turn. The bad batch is being distributed for free, yes; you have read correctly, for free by at least one prominent drug dealer. Capt. Aaron Jones of the Cincinnati Police Department shared:
“Of the victims (Tuesday) that would talk to us and were honest in telling us where they received this heroin from, it’s from several different people … from several different areas.Some of those were given almost as what we call testers — ‘Try this out and if you like it, you can get a hold of me.'”
Cincinnati is not the only area dealing with a sudden surge in overdose rates. A West Virginia town had 27 heroin overdoses within 4 hours. Indiana and Kentucky are also facing an epidemic. Data from the United Nations showed:
“More than 47,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2014, with opioids like heroin and fentanyl accounting for nearly 60 percent of that total.The number of heroin users in the United States reached one million in 2014, a 20-year high, while heroin-related deaths have increased five-fold since 2000.”
Experts believe that it is time for politicians to address this problem in a meaningful way.
— Sgt. Stephen Wheeles (@ISPVersailles) August 24, 2016