GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Paramedics and anti-drug advocates are continuing to see a high number of heroin-related overdoses in Guilford County.
High Point Police report 60 overdoses so far this year compared to 17 reported all of last year. They report eight deaths in the city this year because of heroin.
EMS Captain John Golden is stationed in High Point. "The hospital had 15 overdose patients in one weekend," he said.
Firefighters and paramedics in the county carry Naloxone, also called Narcan. It is the antidote that reverses an opioid overdose, Golden explained.
It's an FDA-approved legal prescription that heroin and opiate users and their families can keep on hand in case of an overdose.
Louise Vincent works with The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition. She has a master’s degree in Public Health and has worked with addiction and overdose prevention for 10 years.
"I'm getting more phone calls than I've ever gotten since I've done this work," she pointed out.
Through NCHRC's Overdose Prevention Project, Vincent helps give out rescue kits in the Triad that include naloxone.
According to NCHRC, 68 percent of overdose-reversals they've documented happened in Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem.
Vincent says she's successfully helped revive people with Narcan six times in the last week.
The group has dispensed over 2,400 overdose rescue kits in the state since August of last year. They confirmed 95 life-saving overdose reversals so far.
Accessing the medicine became easier because North Carolina's 911 Good Samaritan/Access to Naloxone law passed last year.
"I'm a believer that any life saved is positive," added Vincent. "Addiction is a complex problem and there is no simple solution."
But she believes Naloxone could be a big piece of the puzzle to help people survive.
Guilford EMS is hoping to start distribute information to people who overdose in the Piedmont.
Crisis/ Emergency & Referral Services
Sandhills Mobile Crisis (Mental Health) 800-256-2452
Cone BH 336-832-9700
Alcohol and Drug Services (ADS) 336-333-6860
Project Lazarus Partnership for Community Care 336-553-4463
High Point Behavioral Health 336-878-6098
RHA 8am-4pm 336-899-1505
Alcohol and Drug Services (ADS) 336-882-2125
North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition and Info about obtaining a Narcan kit: http://www.nchrc.org/program-and-services/overdose-prevention-project/