A police chief gave his community a “reality check” on heroin abuse after officers responded to an overdose and revived the same addict for the second time in a month.
Chad King, chief of the Pennsylvania Bridgeville Police Department, posted on the department’s Facebook page a picture of a stamped baggie, a dirty spoon, a hypodermic needle and an opioid overdose kit. Accompanying the photo is a caption reading, “when you choose to use Heroin, ultimately, this will be the sequence of events you face,” reports CBS Pittsburgh.
King said that the idea came after his officers had to revive an addict for the second time in under a month and the third time in only three months.
“Here’s what will happen,” King told CBS Pittsburgh. “You get the heroin. You mix it in the spoon. You shoot it. Then ultimately we end up showing up with the overdose kit.”
Pennsylvania is suffering from rampant opioid abuse, particularly centered around Philadelphia. Heroin addicts from out of state are actually flocking to Philadelphia because of the reputation of heroin in the city as some of the strongest in the country. King said the presence of fentanyl, a painkiller roughly 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, and other strong chemicals in heroin are causing addicts to purposefully seek it out for abuse.
“When an addict hears that an associate of theirs or somebody they know overdosed on a certain stamp bag of heroin the mindset is ‘that’s the bag I want.'” King told CBS Pittsburgh. “‘They couldn’t handle it, but I can and I’m going to get the ultimate high.’ They don’t look at it like we look at it.”
A record 33,000 Americans died from opioid related overdoses in 2015, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Opioid deaths contributed to the first drop in U.S. life expectancy since 1993 and eclipsed deaths from motor vehicle accidents in 2015.
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