Provo police investigating string of heroin overdoses

Posted at 1:52 PM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-21 15:52:40-04

PROVO, Utah — Provo police said there have been at least nine heroin overdoses in the city so far this year.

Three of the people who overdosed in Provo this year have died, and Provo police said that number could have been higher if not for the quick work of emergency medical personnel and the use of anti-overdose drug Narcan.

Law enforcement officials are trying to learn why overdoses have been such a big problem this year.

“As of right now, we want to do research into what is it specifically? […] What are the contributing factors to the overdoses? Is it something related to that or is it just excessive use? Is it prescription-related,” said Sr. Officer Nisha Henderson, Provo PD.

Opiate pain relievers and heroin abuse have been on the rise in Provo and Utah County over the last decade. Henderson said Provo paramedics have used Narcan a total of 30 times so far this year – all of them for people believed to be overdosing on pain relievers or heroin.

Henderson said it’s important to educate the public, particularly children, about the dangers of heroin and other drugs.

In addition to efforts to educate people about drugs, Provo police have offered “take-back” events for those who need to get rid of unused prescriptions.