What to do when witnessing an overdose

Combating a heroin problem in the Miami Valley (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) –  Dayton first-responders have seen overdoses at places like the Schuster Center, the RTA bus hub and just this weekend, at a McDonald’s.

“I think Heroin is such a commonly and freely used drug that its prevalence is absolutely everywhere and there are no restrictions on where they decide to use it” said Lt. Jack Mix, Dayton Fire Department EMS Coordinator.

EMS Coordinator, Lt. Jack Mix says he expects overdoses to rise at businesses.

“Just a few blocks from here at Speedway gas station, we’ve had numerous runs for overdoses just at that gas station. there is no place that’s benign to this” said Mix.

This year, The Dayton Fire Department has responded to more than 400 heroin overdoses, a number that has been going up by the hundreds since 2012.

“These numbers are on a steady climb in a city that has decreased its population essentially, why are these numbers continuing to rise? I don’t know the answer” said Mix.

Mix says it’s frustrating responding to those types of scenes, but he knows more days will come where the public will stumble across unconscious addicts. He wants the public to be prepared by first calling 911, then either walk away or help out if you want to.

“You would like that patient on their side so that vomit rolls out of their mouth and not aspirated back into their lungs and compound the problem that already exist” said Mix.

He says make sure you aren’t messing with what could be a crime scene and never perform mouth-to-mouth CPR. Also, make sure you’re not near any used needles or harmful bodily fluids.

“Do chest compressions, non-stop compressions. Two inches on the chest of an adult at the rate of 100 per minute, just don’t stop compressions until EMS arrives” said Mix.

When first responders get on the scene, they typically use NARCAN kits. A drug that reverses an overdose and can save lives.

Lt. Mix says it has saved more than 300 lives this year and each kit costs $47.

2 NEWS checked with the Dayton Police Department, this year they’ve used 80 NARCAN kits on 62 people, 57 of those people were saved.

 

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