Springfield police responded to 19 overdoses in 25 hours between Thursday and Friday mornings and officers have already responded to more overdoses this year than it did all of last year.
And that’s just overdoses in the city. Community Mercy Health Partners Spokesman Dave Lamb said Springfield Regional Medical Center has had 483 drug-related cases this year so far.
No one has reportedly died from the recent rash but it again put a strain on emergency responders. The Springfield Police Division has responded to 368 drug overdoses so far in 2017. And in the last seven days, they have responded to 49 overdoses in the city.
“Anytime you have an increase in calls, it increases the work load,” Springfield Police Division Capt. Brad Moos said. “We’re coping with it right now and I think the officers are doing an excellent job. I just hope it doesn’t get worse.”
At the same time criminal charges have been against three people accused of overdosing with kids in the home this week and the Enon Police Department made a major drug bust.
The number of overdoses has climbed quickly — especially in the last month.
“I would say the 368 to date this year to the 361 we had in 2016 is a dramatic increase,” he said.
Help is available to anyone who wants it, Moos said.
“I would ask that they contact McKinley Hall and seek out those drug treatment services that are available to them,” he said. “If they ask us, we’ll try and get them help as well.”
Drug overdoses are becoming dangerously commonplace here, Clark County Health District Spokeswoman Anita Biles said. Several spikes in ODs have been seen this year and no one is sure why it keeps happening.
“At this point, I haven’t heard if there is a bad batch or what specifically is going on,” Biles said. “We have been experiencing this about once a month for the last few months.”
Three people have been charged with child endangerment in the past few days: Douglas LeValley, 59; Amanda Tarbutton, 29; and Raymond Martin, 27. LeValley and Tarbutton were scheduled to appear in Clark County Municipal Court on Friday and a warrant has been issued for Martin.
Tarbutton was accused of overdoing with two children at the home. She didn’t appear in court on Friday. Martin was also at the home and also allegedly overdosed.
Authorities said in a police affidavit they found the two laying on the ground unconscious and they were revived after being administered multiple doses of Narcan, a medication that is commonly used to reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug.
“While both Tarbutton and Martin were overdosing, child victim one and child victim two were left unattended and wandered into their next door neighbor’s house,” the affidavit says.
LeValley’s accused of overdosing eight times on heroin and at least once with a child present. Authorities were called to his Lexington Avenue home because he allegedly overdosed March 3. A police affidavit says it took two doses of Narcan to revive LeValley.
“I asked how many times Mr. LeValley had overdosed and the child victim spoke up and said ‘this makes eight times,’” Springfield Police Officer Geoffrey Ashworth says in the report.
The child was put into the mother’s custody, the report says. Ashworth says in the report he spoke with LeValley at Springfield Regional Medical Center and LeValley allegedly said he took heroin daily due to knee pain. He allegedly said he wanted to get treatment “to clean himself up from all this,” the report says.
Earlier this month the Enon Police Department found many different types of drugs at a home on Parkridge Drive.
Police recovered suspected cocaine, heroin, LSD, firearms including an AR-15, ammunition, cash and a large quantity of marijuana, along with marijuana growing equipment.
Police Chief Lew Wilcox said Enon Officer Robert Durham started the investigation April 5 when he stopped Matthew Reschauer for driving under the influence. He said drugs and a firearm was found in the car, which led police to request and be granted a search warrant for the Parkridge Drive home.
There police found a marijuana growing operation, Wilcox said, along with hallucinogenic mushrooms, 6,000 doses of LSD, 34 grams of cocaine, Ecstasy and 22 grams of DMT.
“The street value on these drugs we estimate conservatively to be at $100,000,” Wilcox said.
He said authorities suspect the drug operation had been going on for several years. Reschauer has been charged with illegal manufacture/cultivation of drugs.
By the number:
483: Number of drug-related cases at Springfield Regional Medical Center so far this year.
368: Drug overdoses Springfield police have responded to so far this year.
361: Drug overdoses Springfield police responded to in 2016.
300: Drug overdoses Springfield police responded to in 2015.
About this series: Springfield’s Opioid War
The Springfield News-Sun has written extensively about opioid and heroin problems in Clark County in the past five years, including stories about multiple overdoses in one weekend and efforts to expand treatment options. This year, the News-Sun will take a deep dive into the community’s opioid epidemic and what local officials are doing to solve the problem. Coming Sunday, Reporter Michael Cooper digs into what gaps exist in the local treatment options.