Overdose suspected in Superior death
An uptick of opioid drug overdoses that hit the Duluth area in recent days hasn't spared Douglas County, officials there say. In Superior, a suspected heroin overdose is listed as the probable cause of one death that occurred last week. SEE ALSO:...
An uptick of opioid drug overdoses that hit the Duluth area in recent days hasn't spared Douglas County, officials there say.
In Superior, a suspected heroin overdose is listed as the probable cause of one death that occurred last week.
Paul Stein, Douglas County deputy medical examiner, said he was called early on Friday morning to the Billings Park neighborhood, where a 25-year-old man had been discovered dead by his family.
Although the official cause of death won't be determined until chemical tests come back, evidence at the scene led to the conclusion that an overdose was the likely cause, Stein said.
It was one of several medical calls for overdoses the Superior Fire Department has responded to in recent days, Battalion Chief Steve Edwards said.
On Monday, Duluth police reported they'd responded to six overdoses between Thanksgiving day and then. None resulted in death, police said.
Superior firefighters responded to overdose calls on Friday, Saturday and Monday, Edwards said.
Like authorities in Duluth, Edwards said it appears the source of trouble is a fresh batch of heroin with uncertain potency and qualities arriving in the region.
Typically, Superior firefighters will respond to one or two overdose calls in a week, Edwards said.
"Every once in awhile you'll get an uptick where you see four or five of them," he said. "Then you know a new batch of heroin must have come into the area."
Overdose deaths have become less frequent, Stein said, attributing that to the increasing availability of Narcan, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
Superior firefighters recently have been trained in and equipped with Narcan, Edwards said, but he wasn't aware of any use of the drug so far in an overdose situation. Superior police won't be carrying it, he said.
Both police and firefighters in Duluth carry Narcan.