BUTLER (KDKA) – Emergency officials responded to six apparent overdoses in a span of nine hours in Butler County this week. In each case, the person was revived with Narcan.
It happens every day. Someone, somewhere in this country is injecting heroin into their veins, looking for the ultimate high.
Butler County is caught in the middle of a nationwide heroin epidemic. With heroin use comes the risk of an overdose, and emergency crews had a rash of them this week.
“We had six overdoses in nine hours. It takes a toll on the police department, you know what I mean? They’re running from call to call,” Butler Deputy Chief David Adam said.
The victims ranged in age from 22 to 39. Miraculously, no one died because the victims were treated with Narcan, an anti-opiate that all first responders now carry.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time many of the drug users have needed Narcan after an overdose.
“One of the victims, if you will, that night, it was her second time during a 24-hour span in which she had overdosed – one of the times being with children present,” Adam said.
Another victim had five empty stamp bags of suspected heroin fall out of his pocket.
Because of the Good Samaritan act, police don’t file charges if someone calls them about an overdose.
Firefighters also carry Narcan, and most of the time, they are the first on the scene to administer it, but it’s not always appreciated when they bring the victims back to life.
“We’re ruining their high,” Butler firefighter Jim Kaufman said. “They come out of it angry, in instant denial, they didn’t do anything. Then, you know, they go on their way.”
“It gets frustrating when you go multiple times in the same day for the same person,” Butler firefighter Tim Iman said. “But again, like we said, it’s part of the job.”
First responders in Butler say Narcan supplies are not paid for with tax dollars.
No one has a solution for ending the opioid crisis, but firefighters say it’s really having a negative effect on children and they say somehow, someway, it has to end.