Anatomy of an Overdose

TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - The 43605 zip code has the highest number of heroin overdose in the city of Toledo and in Lucas County. Fire crews in the area responded to over 300 overdoses since the beginning of this year. There are some addresses that crews make multiple trips to, rescuing the same people multiple times.

Raul is one of those people. He lives on Parker Street in East Toledo, and overdosed for the third time early on a November Morning. "Mam, I used to 100 dollars 200 dollars a day, I was bad." says Raul. While 13abc talks with Raul, a young 18-year old girl overdoses just a few feet from our cameras. DART Officers Lisa Long and Angela Kemp immediately call 9-1-1 while administrating the first of several doses of narcan in an effort to bring her back.

We talked with Emergency Room Physician Brian Kaminiski from Promedica. He in no way has ever treated this young girl and she is not a patient at ProMedica. But we do talk with him about what happens during an overdose. "Pretty quickly brain cells start to die, debilitating brain damage that could be unrecoverable, people just simply don't recover, they can develop this thing called anoxic brain injury, where the brain becomes inflamed, it becomes swollen and that swelling of the brain tissue causes it's own damage" says Dr. Kaminiski.

Several doses of Narcan later, the young girl is up and breathing. More than 15 minutes passed as crews worked to revive her. Toledo Firefighter Tim Haynes works at station number 6 right in the heart of the '05. "We go on 2 to 3 overdoses a day and fire, 2 to 3 a week." Haynes goes onto say "I always thought if someone seen how they looked when they overdosed, not breathing, blue, if we could get through to them how close they are to death, maybe that would make an impact."

Firefighter James Christie from station 6 says "We've had a couple times where the little ones have actually called 911 for their parents, and it's disturbing when it's not really a shocker to the kids."

Haynes says "You want to help them but you know the drug has got such a powerful grip on their life, it's sad." "A lot of people are kind of resigned to the fact that they're hooked on it and that's just what life is for them right now." says Christie.

The young girl is transported to a area hospital, where she eventually declines any treatment offered to her by Lucas County DART officers. 13abc went with officers on at least two occasions as they stopped by her house and offered treatment options to the girls parents, but they declined.