A startling incident unfolded in Portland when first responders intervened to rescue eight young individuals who had succumbed to drug overdoses, which triggered renewed alarm about the persistent drug crisis plaguing the city.
Drugs Laced With Fentanyl
Portland community members were shocked by an incident where first responders were needed to save eight people who had overdosed on drugs laced with fentanyl.
The victims, all in their late teens or early twenties, were discovered near a playground at the intersection of Park Ave. and Couch Street around 10 a.m. on October 2.
Their overdoses were the result of consuming a white substance, which they had snorted.
“What happened was unfortunate,” expressed an anonymous woman. “What’s important is that people care enough to take notice of the overdoses.”
“…some people do care,” she said. “They care enough to administer Narcan in a time of need. Thank you for doing that. A life could have been lost. Because people care, those people didn’t die.”
In a swift and life-saving response, first responders administered Narcan to all eight victims, and while four were subsequently hospitalized, the other four declined medical attention.
Rick Graves, the spokesperson for Portland Fire & Rescue, expressed the gravity of the situation.
He disclosed that it was the highest number of overdoses in a single call in the history of Portland Fire.
“If something hasn’t opened the window to where we are right now, this probably should,” Graves emphasized.
“Horrific Yet Completely Understandable”
“I think we’re in a pretty significant situation with the use of these chemical substances on the streets that’s certainly unhealthy to those that are using it and the community that surrounds it.”
Residents, including Robert Savage, who works near the affected park, echoed concerns about the city’s response to this crisis.
Savage shared his personal experience, saying he’s found multiple bodies near his office, “Found three bodies gone. Overdosed,” and conveyed his frustration with the authorities’ inadequate efforts to address the issue.
“The fact that there were eight overdoses yesterday was horrific and yet, completely understandable in the scheme of things,” Savage added.
Residents Want More Proactive Measures
“I want to know why Multnomah County, the city of Portland, and the Joint Office isn’t releasing as much money as possible towards personnel on the street that can help solve this because I can tell you, they’re not,” he asserted.
He also pointed out that the situation has not improved in the past four years; in fact, it has worsened.
Residents are pressing for more resources and proactive measures to combat the drug crisis and not only to protect the affected individuals but also the broader community.
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