February 19, 2016

Camden County police respond to 59 opioid overdoses in 49 days so far in 2016

One instance resulted in a fatality; antidote Narcan frequently adminstered

The opioid crisis continues in Camden, with at least 59 overdoses so far this year, including one fatality, the Camden County Police Department said Thursday.

But the antidote Narcan has saved many who otherwise may have died from heroin and related opioid drugs.

In an instance on Feb. 1, Officer Alexander Palmer responded to the corner of Broadway and Fairview Street, where a man was unconscious and struggling to breathe after using heroin.

Palmer administered Narcan, and the man soon began to breathe normally and regained consciousness before being taken to Cooper University Hospital.

On Feb. 3, Officer Antonio Gennetta was addressing quality-of-life issues in the area of Seventh and Chestnut streets when he observed a man lying on the ground at the Chestnut Court Apartments.

Gennetta approached the man and found he was unconscious and had a faint pulse.

Gennetta administered Narcan, and the victim regained consciousness while being transported to Cooper University Hospital.

On Feb. 6, Officer Javier Vega responded to the 600 block of S. Seventh St., where EMS personnel were treating a woman who had used heroin, was unconscious and was breathing irregularly.

Vega administered Narcan, and the woman began to breathe normally and regained consciousness. She was taken to Cooper University Hospital.

On Feb. 11, Palmer responded to the 500 block of Atlantic Ave., where a man experiencing a heroin overdose was struggling to breathe.

Palmer administered Narcan. The victim regained consciousness and was taken to Cooper University Hospital.

On Feb. 13, Gennetta responded to the 700 block of Chestnut St., where a man was lying on the ground unconscious, having used heroin.

Narcan was administered to the victim, who became alert before being taken to Cooper University Hospital.

Camden County Police Department officers have now saved the lives of 175 overdose victims by using Narcan since they first began administering the anti-opioid medication in May 2014, according to information from the department.

Operation SAL, a pilot program to provide detoxification and addiction treatment/rehabilitation services to overdose victims in the county, is offered to victims of overdoses.

For information about SAL and other treatment services for drug users and families, including crisis hotline numbers, visit the Camden County Addiction Awareness Task Force website at addictions.camdencounty.com.

For addiction help, call the CRISIS hotline at (877) 266-8222 or call 911 in the event of an emergency.