Drug overdose calls keeping ER doctors busy

Drug overdoses on the rise in Kentuckiana

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Bradley Thomas has had five mugshots before age 30.  He spent time in jail on drug charges - his drug of choice was heroin.

"I was in jail in a suicide suit hallucinating and not thinking I was going to be normal again. I can't never forget that," Thomas told WHAS11.

Thomas and a friend were found passed out in a car with syringes in their arms in late 2013.  Heroin had a strong grip on him until two years ago when he decided to turn his life around. Sadly, he says many others weren't as lucky.

"It's heartbreaking. It's like every time I get on Facebook or every time I talk to friends, somebody else passed away from it," he said.

Louisville EMS responded to nearly 700 overdose calls in January.  Some of those patients ended up in Dr. Robert Couch's emergency room at Norton Audubon Hospital.  The calls started early Monday.  "I came on shift at seven this morning.  My first heroin overdose was at 7:09," Dr. Couch said.

He said patients are even overdosing in hospital parking lots to be closer to help.  Nurses are even having to use more doses of naloxone to treat patients because they are mixing drugs.


"We're seeing counterfeit narcotic pills, counterfeit hydrocodone, oxycodone that's actually made out of fentanyl and it is so potent that one ingestion of one pill could prove fatal," he said.

Thomas wants to tell addicts once you make it through detox, your life is worth living again.

"Then you can have all those years that you don't have to throw away to drugs and alcohol," Thomas said.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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