Mass drug overdose in California kills 1, leaves 12 more hospitalized

14 January, 2019, 06:56 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Mass overdose in fentanyl

Emergency responders rushed to a home in Chico, Calif. after receiving a 911 call about a mass overdose at around 9 a.m., Chico Police Chief Michael O'Brien said at a press conference last night. When they arrived they found one man dead and had to transport 12 people to the hospital.

A dozen people were taken out of the house Saturday morning and brought to hospitals, the Enterprise-Record reported.

Mike O'Brien, a police captain in Chico, California, said: "Certainly there's potential for additional fatalities". Of the survivors, eight are still being treated in the hospital and four were in critical condition.

All of the people hospitalized were over 18 and most appeared to be in their 20s, Chico police commander Mike Rodden said.

"Upon arrival, Chico police officers found multiple individuals in what appeared to be life-threatening overdose conditions", he told Fox News. Officers who responded to the scene administered six doses of the opioid antidote naloxone in the hopes of reviving the victims.

Authorities said "everything was consistent" with a fentanyl overdose, but testing was still being done to confirm the drug was the cause of the death and injuries.


Chico Fire Department Chief Steven Standridge said the officers were "potentially exposed" to the drug, a synthetic opioid often imported on the black market from China and Mexico to be used as a filler in heroin and other street narcotics.

Both were treated and released later in the day.

According to The Bee, O'Brien says Chico officers began carrying naloxone in 2018 but, until recently, it has been used to reverse heroin overdoses.

Police are not clear about how or why the victims might have consumed the substance. "That is changing unfortunately. and now we've have this MCI (mass casualty incident)...that concerns us all".

In August, President Donald Trump urged the Senate to pass a measure to stop synthetic opioid drugs such as fentanyl from being transported into the United States via the U.S. Postal Service system.

Fentanyl is the most commonly overdosed drug in America, according to a recent government report.

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