EMS respond to increasingly high numbers of drug abuse calls in Delaware County

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DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. - Emergency medical service teams in Delaware County are busier than ever responding to drug overdose calls that are increasing at an alarming rate.

This week, a Muncie mom was arrested after she allegedly passed out from a drug overdose with her young children nearby. Police found syringes and drug paraphernalia nearby. She is just one of hundreds of people treated for drug overdoses by Delaware County EMS first responders.

Last year, Delaware County EMS responded to 225 calls for drug abuse. This year, they've already responded to 95 calls.

“If those numbers stay true, we’re probably going to be somewhere around 100 to 150 more drug overdoses than we had last year," explained Delaware County EMS Executive Director, Jason Rogers.

This year, Delaware County EMS has responded to more than seven calls for fatal drug overdoses, including one just yesterday. Many of them are a result of a heroin overdose.

“They will go unconscious and they will stop breathing. That will ensue to cardiac arrest," Rogers explained.

Narcan is plentiful in the county. Each EMS vehicle is equipped with a kit that includes multiple does. In 2015, Delaware County EMS administered 258 doses of Narcan. So far this year, they've administered 150 doses. Many patients require more than one dose to be brought back to life. The price of the drug has increased significantly. Each small syringe costs about $54. That means Delaware County EMS has already administered more than $8,000 worth of Narcan this year. Rogers said Narcan is only a temporary solution, though.

"Unfortunately, we’ve seen the abuser has taken the stance, ‘well if they wake me up with Narcan, they’re going to wake me up with Narcan every time.’" Rogers said.

Some drug users, according to Rogers have even overdosed twice in one day.

“We’ve gotta do something to get a handle on either the inflow to disrupt the supply and demand or get help to those people who have drug addictions," added Rogers.

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