WNPR

Five More Heroin Overdose Cases in Southeastern Connecticut

Jan 31, 2016

Most of the patients have been successfully treated with Narcan.

The New London area saw five more heroin overdose cases at the weekend; that brings the number in recent days to 14, including one death. 

The city’s Lawrence and Memorial Hospital said it would more typically see about two overdose cases a week, and health officials are warning there could be a potentially lethal form of the drug being sold in the area.

Dr. Oliver Mayorga is Chief of Emergency Medicine at L&M. "They're veteran users," he told a press conference Friday. "They've used heroin before, they actually know what doses work for them. And they're reporting that they didn't expect what they're using to be as strong. So whether it's more pure, or cut with something different, that we don't know."

Most of the patients have been successfully treated with Narcan. Ron Kersey is the EMS Coordinator for the hospital. He says it’s highly possible they’ll continue to see more cases in the near future.

Dr. Oliver Mayorga and Ron Kersey talk to the media.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

"I think we prepare ourselves for the pattern to last for a short period of time, and we just have a heightened sense of awareness," he said. "It's not tough to recognize the event when we arrive, so it's usually apparent what we need to do. The community EMS responders are well equipped and are ready to handle this. It's just making sure that we get there in time."

At least one patient has shared information with police in an attempt to track down where the unusual drug is coming from.