Heroin overdoses on Northshore prompt Sheriff's Office warning

Heroin overdoses on Northshore prompt Sheriff's Office Warning
Updated: Jan. 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - St. Tammany Parish deputies responded to multiple heroin overdoses over the weekend. Some of them ended in death.

"Well the most alarming aspect of the weekend was that we received three overdose deaths within about eight hours on Saturday," says Charles Preston, M.D.

The St. Tammany Parish Coroner says while he's still waiting for toxicology results, he believes the deaths were from a heroin overdose.

"It's concerning that the heroin is in some way adulterated, and the most likely source would be fentanyl or carfentanyl," says Dr. Preston.

"When do we put our foot on the throat of this thing. When do we scream as loud as we can to stop it," says Craig Wiles.

Associate Special Agent in Charge, Craig Wiles says the heroin addiction is a brain disease that must be addressed.

"We can do something about it in this small area we live in, and it can start with something as simple as a conversation," says Wiles.

To get the message out, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office issued a warning on Facebook about the Northshore overdoses. The post prompted more than 3500 shares.

Dr. Preston wants people to know about the opioid antidote Narcan that can be obtained without a prescription.

"It's $140 for two doses, but it's a lot cheaper than a funeral, and it can be a life-saving drug. Having said that, if somebody has received Narcan that's a big red flag that they are suffering from an underlining disease, addiction," says Dr. Preston.

Dr. Preston says the addiction is what needs to be addressed. He points to programs like, 'Operation Angel' where people suffering from an addiction can go to any local police station and ask for help.

"We need to focus on providing adequate medically assisted treatment to this population that is really in danger," says Dr. Preston.

Copyright 2018 WVUE. All rights reserved.