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ABC 33/40 - Heroin "epidemic" puts emergency responders at risk,
on January 28, 2015
By Sarah Snyder
HOOVER - AL -
A deadly drug is hitting epidemic proportions. Heroin is causing concerns throughout Central Alabama. You may think it doesn't affect you, but it does. It's taking firefighters and police officers off the streets - dealing with almost daily overdoses.
"Our runs on these types of incidents are higher than we've ever had," Rusty Lowe, Executive Officer, Hoover Fire Department said.
Hoover Fire and Rescue says an injection - called Narcan - reverses the effects of opiates like Heroin. Because of the re-surgence of Heroin it's in high demand and often hard to come by.
"We keep a good stock of it because we know we will use it on a regular basis," Lowe said.
Once that high goes away, often patients become violent retaliating on the very ones who saved their lives.
"Usually people are grateful for what we do, but now that we know the patients can become violent, we prepare ourselves for it and know that's a possibility," Lowe said.
"The job they have to do is so difficult because with this new boom of Heroin, I've talked to firefighters who say they go on these calls every day, twice a day," Danny Molloy, a former Heroin addict said.
"In high school I started smoking marijuana, drinking, and it quickly escalated," Molloy told ABC 33/40. "It's literally like rolling the dice with your life. It's Russian Roulette. It's so dangerous and it's so available right now and it's become an epidemic really."
It was a group of firefighters and paramedics -- who saved Danny Molloy's life.
"I passed out and woke up in a full seizure, got the phone, dialed 911 and was convulsing," he said. "I woke up in the hospital. The first responders were still there and they were talking to me saying you need to stop doing drugs - you almost died. I honestly believe if I had not called 911 and had they not shown up that night, that I would probably be dead."
Molloy now works with the Addiction Prevention Coalition - helping young adults and high school students avoid the same mistakes he made.
"The reason it's so addictive is because it feels so good, but it feels good for a short period of time," Molloy said. "Eventually your body can't handle the amount of heroin you need to get high - that's where you see overdoses happen."
"It's happening in Hoover, Mountain Brook, Vestavia, it's happening everywhere," Lowe said. "Heroin sees no boundaries. It's been eye-opening for all of us but it's almost second nature to us now to respond to these situations."
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