WPD: Spike in reported heroin overdoses in last month

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police say there have been dozens of heroin overdoses in just one month, and eight of them were fatal.

WPD responded to 40 overdoses in the past 30 days, and that’s not counting any that went unreported.

WPD says there have already been 162 overdoses reported in 2019.

Lt. Mat Ingram says heroin could be deadlier now than ever before.

“It is very dangerous at this time,” Ingram said. “We’re urging everyone, even daily users, people who are accustomed to using heroin, to seek treatment and not use what’s out there at this time.”

What’s out there is a strength of heroin that some users might not be able to tolerate. Ingram says heroin does not discriminate by demographic.

“It is quite of a spike,” Ingram said. “In the last 30 days as you said, we have had eight fatal overdoses, which is quite high.”

With the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD program, Ingram says they are not just getting users off the streets, but they are also getting them the help they need to treat their addiction.

The Quick Response Team at Coastal Horizons Center also partners with WPD to battle the epidemic.

Despite these efforts, Coastal Horizons’ Kenny House says the road to recovery is a long one.

“Really, we’ve just not really captured yet, the volume of this epidemic,” House said.

That’s not to say there has not been progress.

Buffy Taylor says she used to help around 10 people a month get into a treatment program.

“Now, over the past couple of months, we’ve had an increase in those numbers,” Taylor said. “We’ve had 17. We’ve had 16. I think this month is going to be about the same.”

Without treatment, police say given the spike in overdoses, the risk of dying is high. With a strand like this, he says you cannot rely on Narcan to save your life.

“In many instances in the last 30 days, it has not been effective,” Ingram said. “So when we arrive, it’s too late.”

Taylor says they hope to get approved for a third year of funding for the Quick Response Team.

Taylor says if would want to get in touch with a member of the Quick Response Team, call (910)-833-2052.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, News

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