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Four Women Overdose on Heroin, 12-Year-Old Calls 911, Saves Lives

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Four Women Overdose on Heroin, 12-Year-Old Calls 911, Saves Lives

Four women at a house party overdosed on heroin this past weekend in the Pine Point neighborhood of Springfield, Massachusetts. Fortunately, a 12-year-old was quick to act and called 911.

The women who overdosed are expected to fully recover, but the story is a scary one. A small group of youth were upstairs in the home when the overdoses occurred, just feet away. The 12-year-old girl found the women unconscious just after midnight on Sunday.

When police arrived, two of the four women did not have a pulse. All four were treated with the anti-overdose drug naloxone. They were subsequently taken to Mercy Medical Center and Baystate Medical Center.

The four women had apparently overdosed on heroin after they returning home following a night out. The children had been left alone earlier and had been playing video games when the overdoses were discovered.

The Department of Children and Families has been notified, but it is not yet certain if the children are in their custody.

Statistics

Rashes of overdoses like these have steadily been increasing across the state, as well as nationwide. In fact, there were an estimated 1,531 fatal opioid overdoses in Massachusetts last year, and that number is expected to be even higher in 2016.

Often, heroin users don’t know what drug they are actually getting. It’s become increasingly common to find heroin’s much-more-potent cousin fentanyl laced into heroin or substituted outright for it. It’s a lot easier to overdose on heroin when the heroin contains a drug 100 times more powerful than morphine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between the years 1999-2014, the number of deadly overdoses each year has quadrupled. The epidemic is largely blamed on the mass-prescribing of prescription painkillers, which are addictive and may often lead to heroin use.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

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