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WPD: Wilmington experiencing spike in heroin overdoses this month

Updated: Jun. 26, 2019 at 9:03 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Wilmington Police Department has seen a spike in heroin overdoses in the area, according to officials.

Wilmington police have responded to at least 40 heroin overdoses, including eight of which were fatal, over the last 30 days.

“We expect there were more unreported incidents,” the WPD said in a news release.

Officials say the recent overdoses indicate that both recreational and regular daily users of heroin are at great risk of death.

“When heroin overdoses are on the rise, it can mean that inexperienced and recreational users are not able to tolerate the strength of the heroin being sold on the streets," said Kenny House, vice president of clinical services at Coastal Horizons Center. “The effects can be life threatening, and those effects can also be further intensified to the point of being even more dangerous with other drugs – including alcohol.”

According to WPD statistics, the city saw 364 overdoses and 52 overdose deaths in 2018. So far this year, there have been 162 overdoses and 28 deaths.

"While we are committed to arresting those who sell and possess illegal drugs we are also mindful of the need for treatment for addiction. We want to encourage heroin users as well as other substance abusers to seek help,” says Ralph Evangelous, Wilmington Chief of Police.

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