2 suspected overdose deaths alarm Steamboat Springs community | SteamboatToday.com

2 suspected overdose deaths alarm Steamboat Springs community

Many of today's most addictive drugs are not being sold by drug dealers on street corners but can be found in almost every home inside the medicine cabinet. Opiates have long been used by physicians to help their patients deal with pain, but one of the worst side affects of opiates is addiction.
John F. Russell

— Police are alarmed after two drug overdose deaths in a one-week period in Routt County.

There was also a close call on Sunday with a drug overdose, but the patient was revived.

Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg on Wednesday would not release the names of the men who died.

Lab tests will confirm whether the men died from opiate overdoses.

“It’s devastating people’s lives,” said Ken Davis, co-founder of the local Rx Task Force. “It’s heartbreaking to me how many people we’ve lost this year.”

Davis said he was aware of 18 opiate deaths this year in Routt County — a six-fold increase over 2014.

Ryg said a 24-year-old man died late Saturday or early Sunday morning after being treated at a Front Range hospital for five days. The man overdosed in Oak Creek.

On Sunday at about 7:50 p.m., Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters were called to help a 36-year-old man who overdosed at the Walton Creek Condos.

Police arrived and started CPR. Paramedics administered Narcan, a potentially life-saving drug that works by blocking the receptor sites that allow narcotics into a person’s system, and the man survived.

At 4:30 a.m. Monday, Steamboat police and firefighters were called to the Fish Creek Mobile Home park for a unconscious 21-year-old man who was not breathing.

Police arrived first and administered CPR, and paramedics gave Narcan.

The man died Tuesday at a Front Range hospital.

“He received the best medical care available,” Police Commander Annette Dopplick said. “We have been in touch with his parents, and it’s sad to lose a son.”

Dopplick said the man had been living in Steamboat about three years.

“It’s sad what’s going on,” Deputy Fire Chief Chuck Cerasoli said.

He said his department is responding to help people who have overdosed more frequently.

Dopplick said police are looking into whether the two deaths may have been connected.

That was also a priority for Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins, who was concerned that a bad batch of drugs may have been brought to the community.

“We’re just trying to figure out where these young man have been doing their drugs and where they’re getting it from,” Wiggins said.

With the increase in deaths, Davis said it is a priority for the Rx Task Force to get more Narcan into the community because it can save lives. He said it was important for anyone who uses opiates to get Narcan. The drug can be purchased without a prescription at City Market.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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