Police: Growing heroin problem leading to more overdose calls

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In the last two weeks alone the Trumbull Police have responded to three near fatal heroin overdoses.

On Wednesday, Trumbull Police said they are working to address the growing problem, by training officers to respond to overdose calls and administer medication that can save lives.

Police say heroin has been a statewide problem, with other towns and cities experiencing similar increases.

“It is believed the cause of many of these overdoses is the heroin that is being purchased is laced with a synthetic opioid called fentanyl,” Police Lt. Leonard Scinto wrote in a release Wednesday. “When the fentanyl is mixed into the heroin the amount varies from one dose to another so the user can never know if there is a lethal amount of fentanyl in the heroin they purchased.

“These three incidents are currently being investigated in conjunction with several other law enforcement agencies in order to determine if the heroin purchased and used in these three overdoses has a common source,” Scinto said.

In an effort to prevent accidental overdoses from opiate-based drugs, officers statewide are receiving training in administering naloxone more commonly referred to as Narcan. Officers in Trumbull completed their training this week and the kits containing Narcan are now on the road with the patrol officers.

Officer Tim Fedor, who is also an emergency medical instructor, taught the officers how to recognize the signs and symptoms and administer the intranasal Narcan. Fatalities normally occur when the respiratory system slows down and eventually stops.

Narcan will temporarily reverse the depression of the respiratory system and allow the person to breathe more effectively.

During First Selectman Tim Herbst’s State of the Town address last month, he mentioned the heroin problem in town, saying he was starting a new drug prevention task force.

During the address, Herbst named Theresa Doonan a recipient of one of the Clarence Heimann Leadership Awards.

Doonan, co-founder of the Connecticut Heroin Task Force, was given the award for her work to raise awareness about the growing heroin epidemic in the area. Doonan lost a child to a heroin overdose.

Doonan will be co-chairing the new First Selectman’s Drug Prevention Task Force.

Herbst said Trumbull has not been immune to the growing drug problem nationwide, and has lost three young residents in the past year.

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