Opioid Overdoses in Montgomery Co. Putting Strain on EMS Workers
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) - Opioid-related overdoses have more than doubled compared to the same time last year.
Jan. 5 and 6, there were at least 20 overdoses reported in Montgomery County. Ten were were reported on each day.
"The same number of overdoses, different patients," said Jimmie Edwards, executive director of Montgomery County Emergency Services.
Edwards says the back to back double-digit overdoses were caused by a batch of heroin mixed with fentanyl, an opioid so powerful it can cause an overdose if you touch it.
Since Jan. 1, EMS has administered Narcan 71 times. That's more than double the amount used within the same two-week period last year, according to Edwards.
"We might find someone in a vehicle that still has the needle from the injection," Edwards said. "We may encounter a home and find more than one victim."
Edwards says EMS used Narcan 832 times in the county in 2018. He says the influx of calls puts a strain on the system.
"It takes an awful lot of resources for that one call," Edwards said.
"It affects law enforcement," he said. "It affects fire. It affects EMS."
"It seems like an outbreak."