New Haven firefighters see an increase in drug overdoses

(WTNH/ George Roelofsen)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — An early morning investigation on Park Street revealed a man found dead inside a car. New Haven firefighters say drug overdoses are an epidemic in the city that is not going away.

On Monday, paramedics at the scene found needles possibly from a drug overdose. Courtney Luciana said, “I just saw a bunch of cops and detectives out not too many individuals themselves but just the guy sitting in the car.”

Kenneth Oliver Jr, EMS Supervisor with the New Haven Fire Department said, “They found a couple near him and some where resting on him so it was apparent he was overdosing.”

body in car scene 2 New Haven firefighters see an increase in drug overdoses
(WTNH/ Noelle Gardner)

The Detectives spent hours this morning collecting evidence and combing through the car. Oliver Jr. added, “They found out that he had been sitting in the car and that there were some needles and stuff around the scene.” He said drug overdoses are escalating. “It looks like it’s probably going up anywhere between 25 and 50 percent of what it was last year,” said Oliver Jr.

He said it’s an epidemic that’s not going away. Oliver Jr. added, “They are using mixing Fentanyl with Heroin or Carfentanil with Heroin so they are making any combination and you never know how much they are getting.” Oliver Jr. said they get a lot of calls for overdoses in the downtown area.

body in car scene New Haven firefighters see an increase in drug overdoses
(WTNH/ Noelle Gardner)

Oliver Jr. added, “It may go into the Newhallville area gets some overdoses, engine 6 goes a lot and the Fair Haven, Lombard avenue station they go a lot.”

New Haven firefighters and paramedics are trained to use Narcan to reverse overdoses. The city has even increased its supply of the lifesaving medication.

investigation3 New Haven firefighters see an increase in drug overdoses
(WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

Oliver Jr. said that the number of kits the city goes through is alarming.

We are going through anywhere between 30 and 40 kits a month and that’s kind of crazy.”

He said fatal drug overdoses are hitting every age group and all income levels. “And not only all age groups but it also crosses all economic barriers and I’ve seen the elderly people in their 70s plus who are also overdosing,” said Oliver Jr.

If you have any information that could help police in their investigation, you’re asked to call Yale police at 203-422-4400.

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