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English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for "...English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for "plugging" heroin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted on March 23, 2014 by CCPD

(Camden, NJ) – The Camden County Police Department is investigating a spate of heroin overdoses, including one Saturday afternoon in which an officer discovered an unconscious male in an empty lot and helped save his life. The department is warning the public of this danger.

Over the past 24 hours there have been a total of 20 overdose calls in the area, the majority occurring in the City of Camden with one proving fatal.

Due to the spike in overdoses, Camden County Police officers have been doing additional checks of alley ways and vacant buildings in the city. Saturday, just before 2 p.m., Officer Edwin Cortez was on directed patrol checking abandoned structures near the corner of Kaighn and Marion Avenues. There the officer discovered an unconscious male prone on the ground. Officer Cortez immediately called for EMS and rendered aid to the victim, a 35-year-old Blackwood man who overdosed on heroin. The victim was taken by ambulance to Cooper University Hospital. He regained consciousness after being administered Narcan by an EMS advanced life saving unit.

“Had Officer Cortez not been proactively checking heroin locations in response to the spike in overdoses we’ve seen, this individual likely would have died,” said Chief J. Scott Thomson.

The CCPD plans to train police officers to administer the opiod antidote Narcan in emergency situations consistent with the Governor’s approving directive.

“Every second matters in saving lives in these situations. We will soon be able to subtract critical minutes from the time an overdose victim must wait before receiving this life-saving medication.”

The department is investigating these heroin overdoses in conjunction with our law enforcement partners. Anyone with information pertinent to this investigation is asked to call the CCPD’s anonymous tip line at (856) 757-7042.

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