Overdose trio resuscitated by Narcan

April 12, 2019 07:38 PM

BERNE - State Route 156 in the Town of Berne is rural and remote. Hill town residents are always on the lookout for wildlife crossing the road, but when there are three people, unconscious from an overdose, in a car parked in the middle of that road, it could be considered an equal danger.

"This is a new fear we have," asserted Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. "We've had a couple of these occurrence where people were shooting up and then found either ODs or off the side of the road in a parking lot, and if these folks are out on the highway going 55 mph and there's a 4,000 car, you've got a missile coming down at you with somebody who is not even conscious behind the wheel."


Beyond the public danger, Apple says his other concern is the possibility that a deadly batch of heroin might be out on the street.

Kelly Fahrenkopf, director of the Women's and Children's Unit at the Addiction Care Center of Albany says her clients would be more inclined to seek out a "hot batch" of heroin rather than avoid it.

"They are just looking for the high," Fahrenkopf stated. "And that's unfortunately the chance, as we do in treatment, what we continue to tell them is that you never know when it's going to be your last."

All three victims were resuscitated with Narcan administered by arrived paramedics. The man slouched behind the wheel, 41-year old Vincent Oshana of Catskill, faces DWAI charges.

Meanwhile, Apple says it isn't easy for law enforcement to get out ahead of the problem.

"If people get that sensation they're searching for, they can keep producing it," Apple said. "If it's too much, they'll back off it little bit. Before we can catch up, they can tweak a couple molecules and we're onto a new drug."

Apple says he hasn't heard about any similar multiple overdose cases recently from other sheriffs, which is why he's not ready to push the panic button just yet on the "hot batch" issue.


Dan Levy

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