Heroin Overdoses — On Monday, August 15, over the course of a four-hour period, the city of Huntington, West Virginia experienced a terrifying wave of 27 heroin overdoses, including one fatality. All of the overdoses occurred within a mile-and-a-half radius, which suggests they are all linked to the same batch of heroin. The city, located in the western part of West Virginia, has already experienced at least 440 overdoses in 2016 alone, including 26 fatal overdoses. So far, health officials are unsure of whether the drugs involved with overdoses were laced with other substances. Hopefully the toxicology reports will provide some more answers.
The overdose victims ranged from 20 to 50 years old. Eight of them were revived with the overdose reversal drug naloxone. One overdose victim required three doses of naloxone, which typically means that the heroin was laced with another, more potent opioid. Huntington Police Department official Scott Lemley stated, “it’s way too early to tell what the heroin in these cases was laced with, but I suspect fentanyl and maybe something else.” There are usually 18-20 overdoses in Huntington in a single week, so this was a huge “catastrophic” increase.
The heroin overdoses in Huntington, which resemble similar mass overdoses in places like Akron, Ohio — which experienced 19 overdoses and one death in one 24-hour period in July — only add to the already shocking number of overdoses in West Virginia. According to the CDC, the state has the highest number of drug overdose deaths in the United States. West Virginia also has one of the highest prescription rates of opioids in the country. The state ranks in the top ten states for prescribing high-dose opioids and extended-release opioids, both of which are targets for drug abusers.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, seek help now. Addiction is a chronic, progressive, and fatal disease if left untreated. Fortunately, help is available and recovery from addiction is possible. If you do not know where to turn, call Addiction Intervention Now today. We specialize in interventions, and detox, treatment, and sober living placement.