One thousand, four hundred and forty minutes.
In the city of Columbus, Ohio, that was the timeframe in which 27 heroin overdoses took place.
Paramedics and law enforcement responded to the over two-dozen overdoses between Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Nine of these overdoses occurred in the Linden neighborhood; two resulted in death.
Columbus-area news affiliate WCMH-TV reported that in one instance, an 8-year-old child called 911 to report the overdose of a parent. This disturbing detail offers a harrowing insight into the effects of this recent epidemic upon the today’s families.
Officials stated that 27 doses of naloxone were administered across the city during this period of time, while the typical rate of administration is about 8 doses per day. This near doubling in needed dosage has medical professionals and law enforcement on high alert.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther specified that the recent overdoses have been caused by “a particularly strong version of the drug.” Although the heroin in question continues to undergo laboratory testing, it is likely that the drugs were mixed with a more powerful opioid such as fentanyl or carefentanil, both of which can be deadly in trace amounts.
As noted by the Columbus Dispatch, Columbus health commissioner Dr. Teresa Long states that the area is experiencing an “unprecedented epidemic” of heroin abuse and overdose. Public health officials are issuing emergency warnings to those in the Columbus area and beyond.
This news comes on the heels of continued headlines and statistics surrounding heroin use across the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have attributed 29 deaths per day to heroin overdoses nationwide, with over 10,000 deaths on a yearly basis.
With heroin abuse at an all-time high, the national crisis and threat to public health continues, calling for a deepened commitment to addiction treatment.
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