WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police responded to four overdose calls in the past 24 hours, two they say, were fatal.
Police say one of the fatal overdoses was on McClelland Drive and the other was on Cowan Street.
“Those first few minutes are most vital to get oxygen to the brain so that they can either survive or have a normal life,” said Officer Dennis McKelvain.
Mckelvain has used Narcan, to reverse the effects of an overdose, three times in the past year. From someone behind the wheel of a car, to a dad playing with his child, McKelvain says drug overdoses are no stranger to our community.
“There’s no cookie cutter demographic of someone that uses heroin,” said McKelvain.” you could have somebody that makes six figures a year or somebody that lives check to check.”
In the past year, almost all first responders and law enforcement, in the area, have been equipped with the life-saving drug. The NC Harm Reduction Coalition seeks to also get Narcan out to community members in hopes to save lives.
“If you start massive distribution of Naloxone to at risk populations, you can normally decrease the mortality of that population by up to 50 percent,,” said Executive Director Robert Childs.
Childs says more than 750 lives have been saved with their kits since 2013.
“We want individuals who are using them, to be able to not die. we know if an individual dies, they have no second chances, so we’re trying to keep individuals alive until they’re ready for the next step,” Childs said.
According to the NC Harm Reduction Coalition, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties are the top counties for heroin overdoses in the state.