Recovery Specialist | Heroin addicts doing drugs in hospital par - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Recovery Specialist | Heroin addicts doing drugs in hospital parking lots in fear of overdoses

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The fear is growing in Kentucky as a lethal form of heroin has made its way to the Louisville area.

“We're afraid of it. I think we all know inevitably it’s going to wind up here one way or another,” Deborah Thomas told WDRB News.

Thomas is an EMT with Bullitt County EMS and she’s talking about a lethal form of heroin laced with fentanyl or carfentanyl. It's being blamed for at least 28 overdoses in Louisville Tuesday night.

“I mean it's understandable,” said Jimmy Charles, a recovering heroin addict.

Charles was addicted to heroin for five years. He says he never really knew what he was getting.

“You want to feel better, you know. You're willing to do whatever it takes to get that,” Charles said.

Before he came to get help at The Healing Place, he said if there was a chance his heroin was made up of the deadly cocktail – he would still take it.

“Yea I probably would have still done it and without thought of the consequences,” Charles said.

“The impact of the more potent heroin means we're getting slammed with more men wanting to get our services,” said The Healing Place Chairman Jay Davidson.

Whether personally affected or hearing the stories of stronger heroin, it's either creating a more intense demand for help --

“The people are realizing oh my God, this is bad stuff,” Davidson said.

Or causing some to take extreme measures.

“They're using heroin in the parking lot of hospitals and health care centers because they figure if they do overdose, they're right there to get help,” Davidson said.

Addiction advocates are preparing to fight this new heroin, and they're praying for a positive outcome. 

“I won't say that it can't get any worse,” said Jennifer Punkin-Stepp with the Bullitt Opiod Addiction Team.

Meanwhile, paramedics and EMTs say they’ll just continue doing their jobs.  

“The initial feeling when we get an overdose run is anger. Here’s another life lost to drugs.” Thomas said. “Once we get on scene, it's heartache. You see the families, you see what they're struggling with, what the patient is struggling with. When we get them back, it’s instant relief, happiness.”

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