WASHINGTON, PA. — “The first call came at 7:33 p.m. last Sunday: Two people had overdosed on heroin in a home just a few hundred yards from the station where firefighters were awaiting their nightly round of drug emergencies.
Six minutes later, there was another. A 50-year-old man had been found in his bedroom, blue from lack of oxygen, empty bags of heroin by his body.
At 8:11, a third call. Then another, and another, and another and another.
By 8:42 — 69 minutes after the first report — a county of slightly more than 200,000 people had recorded eight overdoses, all believed to be caused by heroin. There would be a total of 16 overdoses in 24 hours and 25 over two days. Three people died. Many of the others were saved by a recent decision to equip every first responder with the fast-acting antidote naloxone.
The toll wasn’t from a supply of heroin that had been poisoned on its journey from South America to southwestern Pennsylvania. Nor was there an isolated party where careless junkies miscalculated the amount of heroin they could handle. Last week was simply an extreme example of what communities in parts of the country are enduring as the heroin epidemic rages on.”
Source: WashingtonPost.com – August 23, 2015