11-Year-Old Pittsburgh Girl Survives Overdose Of Heroin
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, last week an 11-year-old girl was successfully revived after an overdose of heroin. Reports state the girl, who remains identified, was found unresponsive by a family member who performed CPR until paramedics arrived. The overdose occurred in the 2300 block of Palm Beach Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Beechville neighborhood.
First responders administered Narcan (naloxone) to the girl, who then became combative and was subsequently sedated. Narcan is a drug that halts a life-threatening overdose of opioids or opiates in progress. She was quickly taking to the hospital, and last reports say she was in critical condition.
The Post-Gazette reported that police found several stamp bags of heroin in the girl’s bedroom, one of which was open, and that she overdosed “surrounded by photos of friends and posters plastered on her bedroom walls.”
The girl’s adult sister told law enforcement that family members had no clue she was using heroin until investigator discovered it in her home and that the girl’s mother was “visibly distraught” by her daughter’s life-threatening experience.
The girl was described by her family as very social with many friends and good grades. She was attending the sixth grade at South Hills Middle School. A member of the Medic Crew stated that the girl was the youngest victim she had ever seen in her 24-year career.
According to OverdoseFreePA.org, in 2016, there were more than 600 overdose deaths in Allegheny County, nearly double the number from 2015.
Since the turn of the century, the number of opiate and opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. has quadrupled. The Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCenters for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2015, more than 33,000 people died from overdoses related to heroin, fentanyl, and prescription drugs.
Due to confidentiality, the Allegheny County of Depart of Human Services would not confirm or deny that child protective services was involved with the family.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology