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State of Addiction: The growing epidemic part 1

December 27, 2019


>>THIS IS A WLKY VESSEL PRESENTATION.>>IT IS LIKE A WAR ZONE.>>STATE OF ADDICTION.>>IT IS AFFECTING EVERYONE.>>WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TAKING.>>A FAR REACHING EPIDEMIC WITH A DANGEROUS TOLL.>>EIGHT PEOPLE THAT I KNOW HAVE DIED IN 30 DAYS.>>IT IS A STRUGGLE. THERE IS NO SIMPLE OR EASY ANSWERS.>>WELCOME TO “DATE OF ADDICTION.” HEROIN AND OPIOID AGENDA — ADDICTION HAS A FAR-REACHING IMPACT. IN MANY CASES, IT IS SOMEONE YOU WOULD NEVER SUSPECT TO HAS A PROBLEM. KENTUCKY RANKS THIRD IN THE COUNTRY FOR THE MOST OVERDOSE DEATHS, TIED WITH OHIO. ONLY WEST VIRGINIA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE HAVE MORE. THEY ARE WHEN EPIDEMIC IS HITTING THE CITY OF LOUISVILLE PARTICULARLY HARD. OUR CITY IS SEEING A RECORD NUMBER OF OVERDOSE CALLS INCLUDING A STRETCH OF 52 ODS IN 32 HOURS IN FEBRUARY. THE SPIKE HAS METRO EMERGENCY CREWS SCRAMBLING TO KEEP UP. OVERDOSE CALLS ARE ON THE RISE IN THE METRO.>>OVERDOSES KNOW IT NO BOUNDARIES. THEY CAN BE IN ANY AREA OF THE CITY.>>LOUISVILLE IS SITTING A RECORD NUMBER OF OVERDOSE CALLS. EMERGENCY CREWS RESPONDED TO 695 CALLS IN JANUARY AND A STAGGERING 868 CALLS IN FEBRUARY. AT LEAST, 75 DEATHS HAVE BEEN ATTRIBUTED TO DRUG OVERDOSES IN THE FIRST 2.5 MONTHS IN THE YEAR.>>OVERDOSES ARE VERY UNPREDICTABLE. SO IS THE NATURE OF THE DRUG.>>EMS RESPOND TWO CALLS AT INTERSECTIONS, HOTELS, AND HOMES. THIS DRIVER OD AND PASSED OUT CAUSING A CRASH AT WESTPORT ROAD. HOURS AFTER THE CRASH, A CALL TO A RALLIES BATHROOM WHERE ANOTHER PERSON HAS OVERDOSED. THE METRO IS IN THE MIDST OF AN EPIDEMIC.>>THERE IS NO PART OF TOWN THAT IT AFFECTS MORE THAN ANOTHER. IT IS A TRULY UNFORTUNATE SITUATION AFFECTING OUR ENTIRE COMMUNITY. PEOPLE ARE EXPOSED TO IT NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE.>>LOUISVILLE OVER — FIRST RESPONDERS GO TO 20 OVERDOSE CALLS A DAY. IN FEBRUARY, THOSE CALLS DOUBLED. HEALTH OFFICIALS BELIEVE THE INCREASE IS DUE TO FENTANYL.>>WHAT WE SEE ON THE STREETS NOW IS FENTANYL MET WITH HEROIN.>>HAIR WHEN IS UNPREDICTABLE. OFFICIALS SAY A DOSE CAN BE DIFFERENT EVERY SINGLE TIME.>>SOMEONE COULD HAVE TAKEN HEROIN MULTIPLE TIMES IN THE PAST BUT THIS TIME, IT COULD LEAD TO AN OVERDOSE.>>ON THIS FRONT, OVER — FIRST RESPONDERS GAVE THE PATIENT NARCAN. AND THIS SCENE IS REPEATED OVER AND OVER EACH DAY. EMERGENCY CREWS ON THE RUN, SCRAMBLING TO HELP WITH THIS GROWING EPIDEMIC.>>ANY INCREASE IN CALLS IS GOING TO PLAY A FACTOR IN THE FATIGUE OF OUR EMPLOYEES. THEY ARE TIRED OF MAKING OVERDOSE RUNS. IT IS TOUGH TO SEE DAY IN AND DAY OUT. YOU MIGHT BE MAKING MULTIPLE OVERDOSE RUNS IN THE SAME SHIFT OR ON THE SAME PATIENT.>>IT IS NOT JUST A EMERGENCY CREWS STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP, THE WORK FOR THE HOMICIDE UNIT HAS SKYROCKETED. DETECTIVES RESPOND TO EACH OVERDOSE DEATH AND AS CHRISTINA MORA EXPLAINS, OR COTTAGE OFFICERS AND IN SOME CASES, FEDERAL AGENTS, ARE RESPONDING ALSO.>>WE HAVE BEEN IN MILLION-DOLLAR HOMES AND IN ALLEYS. IT IS AFFECTING EVERYONE. CHRISTINA: LIEUTENANT EMILY AND THE HOMICIDE UNIT ARE DEALING WITH A STAGGERING NUMBER OF OVERDOSE DEATHS IN 2017. BY MID-MARCH, HER UNIT RESPONDED TO NEARLY 80 SUSPECTED DEADLY OVERDOSES. BUT — THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR WAS 38. THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION AND NARCOTICS THE TECH’S IN TO HELP. THE GOAL IS TO TRACK DOWN THE DEALERS.>>AS AGENTS, WE ARE WORKING THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF TRAFFICKERS WE CAN FIND. WE HAVE HAD TO RETHINK THE WAY WE ARE DOING THINGS BECAUSE OF THIS EPIDEMIC. WE ARE HAVING TO MIX THINGS UP AND WE ARE TARGETING THE FIRST LINE DISTRIBUTOR. THAT IS SOMETHING UNUSUAL FOR US. CHRISTINA: THE PILOT PROGRAM KICKED OFF LAST YEAR IN FOUR CITIES, LOUISVILLE, PITTSBURGH, ST. LOUIS, AND MILWAUKEE. LOUISVILLE IS CAN — IS CONSIDERED A PRIORITY. OFFICERS WILL NOW RESPOND TO OVERDOSE SCENES. THEY ARE ON THE HUNT FOR CLUES TO LEAD THEM BACK TO THE SUPPLIER.>>WE HAVE STARTED TO STREAMLINE HOW WE DO OVERDOSE DEATHS BECAUSE WE ARE WORKING WITH THE NARCOTICS UNIT NOW. THE NARCOTICS UNIT HAS COME ON BOARD SO IF WE RESPOND TO AN OVERDOSE DEATH AND WE FEEL WE CAN IDENTIFY WHO MAY HAVE PROVIDED THE DRUGS TO THE PERSON, WE WILL CONTACT A NARCOTICS DETECTIVE.>>NARCOTICS IS ABOUT THE MY NEW CHEF — IS ABOUT THE DETAILS. IT IS ABOUT A SCRAP OF PAPER. THE TYPE OF SYRINGE TELLS US ABOUT WHERE THEY ARE GETTING IT FROM. CHRISTINA: DETECTIVES SAY THE CLUES HELP LEAD TO THE ARREST OF SUSPECTED DEALER LOGAN IN SOUTH LOUISVILLE. HE SOLD HAIR WENT TO A MAN IN DECEMBER WHO LATER OVERDOSED AND DIED.>>WE MADE THE SCENE AND MET WITH THE FAMILY. THE CASE — THAT CASE IS ONE WHERE EVERYTHING ALIGNED. CHRISTINA: HE HAS BEEN INDICTED ON FEDERAL CHARGES OF SELLING HEROIN THAT CAUSED A DEADLY OVERDOSE. IT IS AN UNPRECEDENTED CHARGE FOR A REGION AND IT CARRIES A 20 YEAR SENTENCE WITH NO CHANCE FOR PAROLE.>>GOING INTO THIS, NO ONE ANTICIPATED HOW EMOTIONAL THIS WOULD BE. CHRISTINA: AUTHORITIES SAY 80% OF THE SUSPECTED OVERDOSE DEATHS IN TO ME 17 HAS LIKED — HAVE LIKELY BEEN FROM FENTANYL. IT IS USED TO CUT HAIR WHEN TO MAKE IT STRONGER — IT IS USED TO CUT HEROIN AND MAKE IT STRONGER.>>THE PROBLEM IS THAT SMALL AMOUNT IS KILLING SOMEONE, SOMEONE’S SON OR DAUGHTER. THOSE SENTENCES MAY BE STIFF BUT THESE GUYS NEED TO KNOW THAT THOSE SENTENCES ARE OUT THERE. IF YOU ARE GOING TO PEDAL THIS, WE ARE LOOKING FOR YOU. IF WE CATCH YOU, THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT HAMMER. CHRISTINA: WHILE THEY FIGHT THIS ON THE STREETS, MANY ARE BATTLING THE ADDICTION AT HOME. OFTEN IN SILENCE. NEARLY 5 MILLION AMERICANS ARE ADDICTED TO PILLS. THAT IS A 300% INCREASE SINCE 1999. THE FACE OF ADDICTION IS GETTING YOUNGER. ERIC KING LOOKS AT THE PAINFUL REALITY THROUGH THE EYES OF A PARENT WHO LOST HIS SON TO A ADDICTION.>>AS I STARTED TO WALK UPSTAIRS, MY HEART FELT WITH EACH STEP THAT I TOOK. I JUST GOT A BAD FEELING. AS I GOT TO THE TOP OF THE STAIRS AND I WALKED INTO HIS BEDROOM, I OPENED THE DOOR AND I COULD SEE HIS FEET AND HOW WHITE THEY LOOKED. I LOST IT. I HAD MY WIFE CALLED 911. I PULLED MY SON DOWN AND TRIED TO GIVE HIM CPR FOR ABOUT 15-20 MINUTES. BY THE TIME THEY GOT THERE, THEY TOOK OVER. MY WIFE AND I WERE DEVASTATED. THEY CAME DOWNSTAIRS AND SAID THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO FOR HIM. WE BOTH LOST IT. ERIC: GREG ALLEN WAS 27 YEARS OLD. HE DIED IN DECEMBER, 20 16, A FEW WEEKS SHY OF HIS BIRTHDAY. ALTHOUGH HIS DRUG STRUGGLE ENDED WITH HEROIN, HIS DAD SAID IT DID NOT START THERE.>>HIS SENIOR YEAR, IT WAS COMBATIVE JUST GETTING HIM UP FOR SCHOOL. WE DID NOT KNOW THAT HE WAS USING PAIN PILLS.>>NO KID GOES INTO HAVING THEIR FIRST RANK OR SMOKING MARIJUANA AND THINKING — I WILL GO TRY HEROIN. NOBODY SAYS THAT. ERIC: PRISCILLA WORKS FOR THIS REHAB THAT HELPS TO CURB ADDICTION. CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE FORCED THEM TO CONCENTRATE ON TEENAGERS.>>WE HAVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS THAT ARE CRUSHING SWEETHEARTS AND SNORTING THEM UP THEIR NOSE. THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. WE HAVE ADOLESCENT THAT MAY BE DRINKING, SMOKING MARIJUANA AND USING PRESCRIPTION PILLS. THEY ARE TESTING THE WATERS. WITH THAT, THEY MAY GET INTO TROUBLE IN THE PARENTS ARE REALIZING SOMETHING IS GOING ON. ERIC: IN 2015, THE LAST FULL-YEAR STATISTICS ARE AVAILABLE, 276,000 KIDS IN THE U.S. BETWEEN THE AGES OF 12 AND 17 WERE OF USING PAIN MEDICATIONS. AN ADDITIONAL 122,000 WERE ADDICTED TO PAIN — PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICATIONS. 500,000 CAUSED — CALLED THEMSELVES USERS.>>IF WE ARE GOING TO GET OUT OF AN EPIDEMIC, IT HAS TO START AT A YOUNG AGE.>>YOUNG PEOPLE ARE INQUISITIVE. THE YOUNGER WE ARE, THE MORE INQUISITIVE WE ARE. THAT IS HOW WE LEARN. HAIR WHEN IS THE 1 — HEROIN IS THE ONE THING YOU CANNOT TRY ONE TIME. ERIC: FOR KEN, IT IS ABOUT RE-EXAMINING EVERYTHING. DESPITE THE DAILY HORROR OF THAT TRACK, IT COMES WITH A SMALL BIT OF SOLACE KNOWING HIS STORY, HIS SONS STORY, COULD POTENTIALLY HELP ANOTHER FAMILY STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION.>>THERE IS NOT A DAY THAT GOES BY THAT WE DO NOT SHED TEARS. HE MEANT THAT MUCH TO US. I KNOW THERE ARE OTHER FAMILIES GOING TO THE SAME THING. IT IS PAINFUL. COMING UP NEXT, TRACING THE ORIGINS OF THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC.>>HEROIN, COCAINE, CRANK. YOU NAME IT. IT IS HERE.>>WE WILL TAKE YOU TO A SMALL EASTERN KENTUCKY TOWN WHERE PHARMACIES DOMINATE THE LANDSCAPE.

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