Surge In Delray Beach Heroin Overdoses For First Responders
First responders in Delray Beach are receiving 12 to 15 calls a day as a result of heroin overdoses. That number is the city alone; it doesn’t include the dozens of other stations throughout the county also receiving daily calls.
Firefighters worry that they will not have the manpower to respond if this dangerous trend – fueled by the arrival of synthetic opioid fentanyl – continues to worsen.
Delray Beach Heroin Overdoses
Heroin overdose as “the new normal”
The Palm Beach Post exposé “Heroin: Killer of a Generation” revealed that every other day last year, an area resident lost his/her life as a result of heroin, fentanyl or illicit morphine.
That’s more than the number of deadly car crashes in the area, and nearly twice the amount of homicides. This sudden spike in overdoses has left firefighters struggling to keep up, both physically and emotionally.
In a WPTV interview, Delray Beach Fire Chief Neal de Jesus says that, in his 32 years in the department, this is “by far” the worst he has seen of drug abuse in the area. To deal with the mental strain, Delray Beach firefighters must now attend mandatory counseling.
Fentanyl poses as a new danger
While heroin is deadly on its own, the advent of fentanyl has proven to be an especially lethal threat. In recent months, drug cartels and street dealers have been mixing the synthetic opioid, often purchased from China, into their heroin supply. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than morphine, and an amount as small as a few grains of sand can prove fatal.
Even the opiate antidote Narcan has lost its effect. Chief de Jesus says first responders need more of it than they ever have. “We used to administer at .4 milligrams of Narcan, now we’re administering up to 8 and sometimes even more,” de Jesus explained.
Tackling the problem
Delray Beach’s Fire chief has asked the city to greenlight additional hires over the next three years. Although adding more personnel to rescue trucks will help manage the increasing number of calls, it will not deal with the addiction problem at its source.
More community awareness, as well as additional regulation for sober homes. An ongoing problem for our area that earned its own task force in Delray Beach Heroin Overdoses – is necessary to fight this lethal epidemic.
Get the help you need
If you or someone you love is struggling with dependence on heroin, fentanyl, morphine or other substance abuse problem, we can help. The Watershed can help give you a fresh start today, with a caring team that will guide you every step on your way to recovery. Call us now at 1-800-861-1768 for more information.Tags: delray beach, faces of heroin, heroin overdose, Narcan