The Fargo Police Department has responded to six overdose calls since March 28th, one of which has resulted in a death. Prior to this, we had responded to six since January 1st, which resulted in two deaths. The spike in the last two weeks is very concerning and our patrol officers and Narcotics detectives are working diligently to investigate these overdoses.
The usual question is “is there a bad batch of Heroin in town?”. The answer is always the same, there is NO good batch of Heroin. All illegal drugs have the potential to be deadly, with varying degrees of potency depending on the individual who puts it in their body.
Our goal is to identify the individuals responsible for dispersing these illegal substances in our community to hold them accountable.However, first and foremost, we want to make sure the victims receive the medical care that is needed to save their lives. Our officers carry Narcan for these types of calls, and the ND Overdose Prevention and immunity law (NDCC 19-03.1-23.4) applies to those individuals who stay on scene and assist first responders in the medical needs of the victim. The victim is also protected. What that means is don’t waste time cleaning up the scene of drugs and paraphernalia, because you won’t be charged with possession of those things. Don’t put the victim in a bathtub and run water on them in an effort to revive them yourself. That does not work and valuable time is being wasted where they are not receiving medical attention. Call 911 right away and get help on the way, and the dispatcher can walk you through proper CPR procedures.
Officers, and possibly detectives, will arrive and will ask you questions. All of your rights are still afforded to you, and you are protected by the Overdose Prevention and Immunity Law, but we want to know what happened that led to the overdose, and we also want to remove any illegal items that may be used by people at the scene that could possibly lead to additional overdoses. The officers and detectives will also explain this to you when they arrive, but feel free to ask questions about the process as well.
Again, our goal is to get the victim the medical attention they need to save their life, and also to get information that might assist us in preventing further overdoses from occurring in our community.
These are difficult and stressful times in the world. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, please seek out help. We do not want to see more overdoses and death that can be prevented. Also, if you have information regarding someone you believe to be selling/distributing illegal drugs in your community, please call your local law enforcement agency.
All of these overdoses are still being actively investigated so no further details regarding the investigations will be released at this time.