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51 drug overdoses reported this month in Manchester

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

September 18. 2017 10:15AM
Parents hold pictures of their children who were killed by opioid overdoses at the New Hampshire Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness at SNHU Arena in Manchester in March. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

The majority of Manchester overdoses thus far in 2017 — 116 — have occurred in hotels, public buildings or venues. Twenty-seven overdose victims were found in parked vehicles, while 21 overdosed while operating vehicles. (freeimages.com)

MANCHESTER — Statistics released Sunday by city fire officials show the number of opioid overdoses halfway through September at 51.

According to Chris Hickey, emergency medical services officer and paramedic for the Manchester Fire Department, there were 51 reported opioid-related overdoses in September as of Friday, including four fatalities. That compares to 63 overdoses and five fatalities in September 2016. In total, there have been 2,306 total visits to Safe Station since the program was launched in May 2016, with 1,596 of those representing unique or non-repeat visitors.

Safe Station transformed the Queen City’s 10 fire stations into intake centers where addicts can head for help without fear of being arrested. When someone walks in, first responders check to make sure the person’s vital signs are OK. If the person is at risk for a medical emergency, they are sent to a local hospital or given the necessary care. If they are determined to be stable, fire personnel connect them with recovery and support services.

Of those 2,306 visitors to Safe Station, 420 were transported to city hospitals — 254 to Catholic Medical Center, and 166 to Elliot Hospital. Another 347 Safe Station participants were taken to Hope for NH, while 1,530 have been transported to Serenity Place.

So far this year, the total number of overdoses in Manchester is 598.

The fatality rate is significantly lower so far in 2017.

In 2017, 46 people have died from opioid overdoses thus far, Hickey reported. In 2016, there were 73 overdose deaths by this point.

The majority of overdoses thus far in 2017 — 116 — have occurred in hotels, public buildings or venues. Twenty-seven overdose victims were found in parked vehicles, while 21 overdosed while operating vehicles.

The youngest suspected overdose fatality was 19, while the oldest was 52.

According to Hickey, 474 patients have been treated with Narcan so far this year through the Safe Station program. The average dose of Narcan given to revive an overdose patient is 3.81 mg, according to Hickey’s statistics.


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