'Narcan parties:' Drug users overdosing to be brought back to life


North Carolina emergency workers in Rowan County expressed frustration Thursday over "Narcan parties," which they said are increasing in the area.

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Emergency workers said they've noticed the spike over the past six months, WSOC-TV reported.

"With Narcan readily available and over the counter now, they are having group gatherings called Narcan parties,” said Chris Richardson, Emergency Management Services battalion chief for Rowan County. “They will have numerous people around.” 

He said party-goers get high in houses or cars in public places, then an emergency responder with Narcan will try to revive them, giving the drug user a rush. 

He said a few weeks ago that a couple overdosed on heroin at a shopping center, knowing an ambulance with Narcan was just a call away.

"(They) picked up the drug, didn't want to wait to get to their residence, both wanted to use, they did it in a public place so they would be found," Richardson said. 

The numbers of overdoses are staggering. 

There were 292 calls in 2016 in Rowan County when Narcan was administered. 

This year, through June, they've already had 284 calls for a 94 percent increase. 

The opioid epidemic is staggering in parts of Ohio, too, where officials are saying citizens are taking advantage of emergency services. 

>> Related: Stop sending EMS to respond to overdose calls, Ohio councilman says

>> Related: Ohio factory owner: I need sober workers


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