Overdose deaths: A growing problem in the St. Louis area - KMOV.com

Overdose deaths: A growing problem in the St. Louis area

Posted: Updated:
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A St. Louis family has been praying their loved one doesn’t become one of the many opioid overdose deaths in Missouri.

The St. Louis City Fire Department, along with help from Washington, gives a reality check on how big of a problem overdosing is.

“It affects every demographic out there. Finances, education, two-parent households and single-parents households,” said St. Louis Fire Caption Leon Whitener.  

Caption Whitener knows the grip opioids have on the St. Louis area.

The Metts family is spending days and nights at SLU Hospital. Their 30-year-old son is struggling to recover from an overdose that happened in September.

The young man is one of more than 1,600 this year given Narcan by firefighters.

“Our crews are running over 100 calls a month, just in the city alone, responding to these opioid overdoeses,” said Caption Whitener.

In 2016, city first responders used 753 Narcan packages. But that use only began in August.

Caption Whitener doesn’t know what it will take to stop overdoses, but thinks the president’s emergency declaration will help.

“Brings a lot of resources to the table and government agencies to the table to best find a remedy to this epidemic,” said Whitener.

Overdoses are such a problem that every St. Louis city officer has started carrying Narcan.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly