27 people overdose on heroin in small city in just 4 hours
The heroin epidemic that has swept the United States has severely impacted one small town in West Virginia. In Huntington, a town of just 49,000 people, 27 people suffered from heroin overdoses in just four hours.
On Monday afternoon, an influx of 911 calls began reporting overdoses in the area, according to Cabell County EMS Director Gordon Merry. The 27 overdoses occurred within a mile and a half radius.
"We had tied up seven ambulances within minutes due to overdose calls and still needed more, which we had to get from other parts of the county. It was basically like a mass casualty event," said Merry.
While many of the people who overdosed were given the opioid-reversing drug, naloxone, one person did not survive, according to reports.
Police are investigating the cause of this mass overdose, suspecting a tainted batch of heroin laced with something to make it extremely dangerous.
"The state medical examiner will conduct a toxicology analysis to determine what was in the drug, but that will not come back for about 10 weeks. We did not seize any heroin from the other overdose victims, so we can't analyze theirs," Huntington Chief of Police Joe Ciccarelli said.
These before and after photos show the true effects of heroin abuse:
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