Beach police notice spike in apparent heroin overdoses

Posted at 5:39 PM, Dec 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-10 07:03:49-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - Virginia Beach police officers and rescue workers say they're seeing a spike in apparent heroin overdoses. This jump in the past two months comes after a year where a dozen people have died from heroin.

NewsChannel 3 contacted police and medical professionals in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Richmond to see if any agency kept data on heroin overdoses. None said they kept records like that. But Ed Brazle, a Beach EMS spokesperson, said his agency does track the use of a heroin-neutralizing drug called Narcan, typically used in suspected overdoses.

Brazle said in the past two months, rescue crews have seen a 60 percent jump in calls where they've used Narcan. For the year, Narcan use is up 10 percent.

Brazle said Narcan also works on other opiates, so he can't say the boost is solely due to heroin cases.

Representatives from the medical examiner's office in Norfolk said they have also seen what might be a trend in overdoses, but the toxicology tests needed to confirm that can take several weeks.