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Overdose Situation Stabilizes

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WILLIAMSPORT -- It was another busy day for first responders and doctors, dealing with overdoses in Lycoming County.  They've now seen more than 50 in the past two days.  Hospital officials here believe the situation has stabilized.  But medical personnel treated more than 51 overdoses, from Wednesday through Friday.

That's more than one an hour, when the hospital usually averages between one and two a day.

Local officials call this an "epidemic."  Even though most of the calls are in Williamsport, EMTs in Loyalsock Township have also handled some cases.

“We typically have about five of those calls a month,” Paul Lester said.

They've had five in the past two days.

"We're anticipating that call volume to go up with whatever product has come out in the past week or so,” Lester said.

"We're not sure what we're dealing with first of all, and we're trying to get to the bottom of it and find out what the source is,” Old Lycoming Township Police Chief Joseph Hope said.

Right now, police in Lycoming County are working with federal and state agencies, looking for the source of the heroin.  Williamsport police arrested one suspected heroin dealer, but are not sure if it's related to these cases.  Police are interviewing overdose victims.

“We're not getting a lot of cooperation.  We have some information that we're looking at but we're really not getting a lot of cooperation,” Hope said.

According to UPMC Susquehanna Health in Williamsport, doctors there treated 51 overdoses in a 48-hour period.  The state Department of Health put out an alert that the heroin is believed to be laced with fentanyl.

“It is the trend that's happening across America,” Steve Shope said.

Shope is the executive director of Project Bald Eagle, which provides information and help on the heroin epidemic in Central Pennsylvania.

"The phone and the emails and the people wanting answers, some insight into what's happening has been unlike anything I've experienced in this position before,” Shope said.

Hospital officials in Williamsport said that the overdose situation has stabilized by Friday afternoon.  If you or someone you know is overdosing, call 911.


  • Larry Stokes

    DNR Do not resuscitate. I could careless if every junkie dies . I wish they would. They serve no purpose other than a drain on hard working people. I don’t want to hear oh what if if was your family member. Let me tell you, I have a junkie in my family and they are walking dead to me. I don’t care if he drops dead right now now. Good riddance.

  • Feed Me More

    let them die and they cant overdose again, duh, worthless humans anyway living off tax payers money and when thats not enough robbing family, friends, businesses. let them die and rid the world of their filth, no drug users, no drug dealers, no problems. simple

    • You ain't no better

      You are such a heartless know it all. You obviously do not know that behind these addicts are families that actually do care for their loved ones. Let it be one of your precious family members and I’m so sure you would definitel feel different about this. Addiction does not discriminate. Miss know it all , acting like lives do not matter. Could be your child someday. I’m sure you wouldn’t want them to die. Now would you?

  • Capt Bogart

    Why fix the problem.. Let the drug dealers earn their $$$, and now the companies that manufacture Narcan drugs can earn moneys too! Awesome. Both sides are reaping the benefits. Law Enforcement gets their payoff to protect the Dealers, Court system also gets their cut. Nothing like good old commercialism.

  • nostalgia

    Well this sucks. I don’t want to see stabilization. I want to see destabilization. I love the body count on the evening news. It takes me back to the 1970’s Walter Cronkite days.

  • Robert E. Stayrook

    So They almost die but they remain unwilling to give up their dealer I say they should be given 2 options and only two options Prison or mandatory rehab where they have to stay for 6 mo. to a year or if they can’t handle rehab back to
    prison. they are criminals not victims nothing positive can come from just letting them go.

  • rebeccantsproductionscom

    I think this pretty much sums it up: Police are interviewing overdose victims. “We’re not getting a lot of cooperation. We have some information that we’re looking at but we’re really not getting a lot of cooperation”.

    No cooperation because the same people who overdosed will go right back out, buy drugs from the same dealer, and do it all over again. Lather, rinse, and repeat. What a waste.

  • Stinky

    Dean Periguard originally from Clark Summit PA who now resides in Lake Tahoe California has been selling and shipping drugs through the US mail for years now into northeast Pennsylvania hopefully lawenforcment will see this comment and investigate

  • WarningFakeNews

    51 overdoses between Wednesday and Friday and it’s “stabilized”? How is that stabilized? This seems like a logical question that a reporter might wish to ask the “hospital officials”.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Let them die!

    They will be revived and go right back out an use.

    You know they aren’t footing the bill, we are!

    Let em go, junkies are old news and a waste of resources.

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      Actually, it should be a law. Revive them once, then no more. Clear up the waiting room to the hospitals.

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