Heroin overdose reversing drug used more

Posted at 7:06 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 19:06:33-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- It's an epidemic hitting the suburbs of the northeast at a startling rate; heroin.

"It's a feeling of complete helplessness and you think as a parent that you can help your child," explained Mitch Winehouse. "When i say child, when Amy was struggling with addiction she was 22 or 23 she wasn't a child but it's a feeling of complete helplessness."

The Amy in this case is Amy Winehouse, the English singer and songwriter who battled addiction. Mitch is in town talking to Dreyfoos High School students and parents about Amy's life, who she was and her struggle with addiction. West Palm Beach Assistant Fire Chief Diana Matty says we're seeing similar struggles in West Palm Beach.

"Since the pill mill issue has sort of waned over the past couple years with them shutting down, we have seen an increase in heroin use in the city of West Palm Beach," said Matty.

It's called 'boy', '10 dollar capsules', or '20 dollar capsules'. There's brown heroin or black tar heroin, but any variety can be deadly. Heroin overdose antidote Narcan costs $289 dollars for a box of ten and it's being used more and more often.

"Typically we're seeing Narcan being used two to three times a day," Matty detailed. "Maybe a thousand times a year on average, and at $28 a vile that gets costly."

Ten West Palm Beach Fire Rescue Trucks and none fire trucks carry Narcan. It costs tax payers close to $10,000 a year, a number that could rise as more people turn to heroine.

"As we know with any kind of addiction it isn't up to me to decide or a parent to decide when their child needs to seek treatment," Mitch added. "It's up to the person who's struggling with addiction."