A startling incident unfolded in Portland when first responders intervened to rescue eight young individuals who had succumbed to drug overdoses, triggering renewed alarm about the persistent drug crisis plaguing the city. 

First Responders Called In

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Portland community members were shocked by an incident where first responders were needed to save eight people who had overdosed on drugs laced with fentanyl.

Victims Were Teenagers or in Their Early 20’s

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The victims, all in their late teens or early twenties, were discovered near a playground at the intersection of Park Ave. and Couch Street around 10 a.m. on October 2. 

They Consumed a White Substance

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Their overdoses were the result of consuming a white substance, which they had snorted.

‘What Happened Was Unfortunate’

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“What happened was unfortunate,” expressed an anonymous woman. “What’s important is that people care enough to take notice of the overdoses.”

‘Because People Care Those People Didn’t Die’

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“…some people do care,” she said. “They care enough to administer Narcan in a time of need. Thank you for doing that. A life could have been lost. Because people care, those people didn’t die.”

Emergency Care Was Administered Immediately 

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In a swift and life-saving response, first responders administered Narcan to all eight victims, and while four were subsequently hospitalized, the other four declined medical attention. 

A Growing Problem

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Rick Graves, the spokesperson for Portland Fire & Rescue, expressed the gravity of the situation. 

Highest Number of Overdoses in a Single Call

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He disclosed that it was the highest number of overdoses in a single call in the history of Portland Fire.

This Should Be a Wake-up Call

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 “If something hasn’t opened the window to where we are right now, this probably should,” Graves emphasized. 

‘We’re in a Pretty Significant Situation’

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“I think we’re in a pretty significant situation with the use of these chemical substances on the streets that’s certainly unhealthy to those that are using it and the community that surrounds it.”

Residents Were Concerned for Safety

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Residents, including Robert Savage, who works near the affected park, echoed concerns about the city’s response to this crisis. 

Not the First Time This Playground Saw Tragedy 

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Savage shared his personal experience, saying he’s found multiple bodies near his office, “Found three bodies gone.

Overdosed,” and conveyed his frustration with the authorities’ inadequate efforts to address the issue. 

‘Horrific Yet Completely Understandable’

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“The fact that there were eight overdoses yesterday was horrific and yet, completely understandable in the scheme of things,” Savage added.

Outraged Over Lack of Help From City

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“I want to know why Multnomah County, the city of Portland, and the Joint Office isn’t releasing as much money as possible towards personnel on the street that can help solve this because I can tell you, they’re not,” he asserted. 

The Problem Has Gotten Worse

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He also pointed out that the situation has not improved in the past four years; in fact, it has worsened. 

Residents Want More Proactive Measures

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Residents are pressing for more resources and proactive measures to combat the drug crisis and not only to protect the affected individuals but also the broader community.

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