Heroin epidemic taking financial toll on local fire department

Heroin epidemic taking financial toll on local fire department (WKRC)

DAYTON, Ky. (WKRC) - The heroin epidemic is getting so bad in one part of northern Kentucky the fire chief needs more money.

In February 2017, a driver crashed through Smitty's bar in Dayton. It took several doses of Narcan to bring him back to life. The chief said that's become the norm.

Not only have overdoses tripled in the last year in Dayton and Bellevue, but since much of the heroin is mixed with other deadly chemicals such as fentanyl, firefighters use as many as to six doses to revive people. At $20 per milligram, an overdose can cost the department nearly $500 a person.

Often times, it's a familiar face according to Chief Michael Auter with the Bellevue-Dayton Fire Department, "We've picked them up at 10 in the morning, bring them back, take them to the hospital. 10 o'clock that night we're responding to the same address. Same person."

The Bellevue-Dayton fire department has actually run out of Narcan a few times and had to borrow from neighboring communities. Narcan has cost the department $5,000 already in 2017. That's why the chief is asking for an extra $10,000 in 2018 year's budget.

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