WASHINGTON — Editor's Note: The video above is from Nov. 18, 2021.
Police responded to several calls of fentanyl overdoses in Southwest D.C. Friday. Three of the overdoses were fatal.
According to a tweet from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), offices responded to ten medical emergencies in Southwest. MPD confirmed that seven of the people who allegedly overdosed were found in the same area between 7 a.m. and early afternoon.
Three of the people, found on P Street, O Street and Half Street Southwest, died Friday afternoon.
A day later, at The Hair Therapy Lounge, ANC Commissioner Shekita McBroom was busy spreading the word about the dangers of fentanyl.
“Fentanyl, or any other drug in this area, is so easy to get,” McBroom said.
The deadly drug is finding its way into the hands of teenagers, like her daughter Jayla.
“On June 22, 2021, I lost Jayla due to fentanyl,” she said.
McBroom’s life’s mission now is spreading the word on the dangers of the drug snipping and cutting lives short in her community. “Because if you don't get to your children first, unfortunately someone else may get to your children before you, and it could and it cost them their life,” McBroom added.
Ambrose Lane Jr. is with the Health Alliance Network. “The number of opioid deaths that have occurred in the last two years have almost doubled the number of homicides,” Lane Jr. said.
In a resolution to Advisory Neighborhood Commissions around the district, the Alliance asked for Sobering Centers in Wards 7 and 8, for the Department of Behavioral Health to create a plan for the enhanced inclusion of DC based pharmacies in the Live Long DC Program, and 24-hour healthcare providers for when overdoses occur.
“The only one that exists that's 24 hours is at PIW on the west side of the city. We need one where the opioid crisis is actually occurring,” Lane Jr. added.
The news of the most recent overdoses is taking their toll on McBroom. “It just makes me feel like we're not doing enough,” she said. She’s promising not to stop until the job is done.
“This just adds on to the trauma that we already experienced on a day to day basis. As you know, we don’t need any additional trauma in our community, but unfortunately, this something we can’t ignore,” McBroom said.
MPD urges people to call 9-1-1 if someone they know overdoses. Residents can text LiveLongDC to 888-811 to Naloxone near them and have it delivered.
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Courtney Shaff is in recovery and shared her story with WUSA9 on her eleventh day at Awakenings Recovery Center in Hagerstown, Md.