MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- "It’s been a difficult week," Middletown Firefighters’ Union president Tim Kinsworthy said Friday. That might be an understatement.
Middletown first responders such as Kinsworthy found themselves called to the scene of 34 overdoses between one Friday and the next, and many of the victims needed multiple doses of Narcan before they regained consciousness.
This spike in overdoses may represent the spread of carfentanil and fentanyl-laced heroin through the Tri-State area -- Cincinnati experienced a similar spike in late August, and the dramatically increased incidence of overdoses has since rippled out to surrounding counties.
“I think it goes in spurts,” Kinsworthy said. “Cincinnati obviously had it about a month ago. Hamilton had the same issues. You get a bad batch of heroin that comes in and it’s a bad dose, and people overdose.”
And it’s straining Middletown’s resources.
A single dose of Narcan used to be enough to bring overdose victims back to consciousness and relatively stable health. Recent incidents, however, have required three, four or sometimes even more.
One dose of Narcan costs around $33 for emergency departments to purchase; for incidents that require multiple doses, the financial cost can be substantial.
If first responders ever run out, the human cost could be much higher.