Blood Obsession: Holiday Overdose

New York City at Christmas time is a magical time of  year. The sounds of the holidays wrap around tourists and natives alike with bright-colored bows and ribbons. It is also a time of year for the underbelly to take advantage of the shoppers in the crowded shops and tourist attractions. The tenth squad prepared to do their share, part of creating a visible presence to assure a sense of safety. Back in uniform for the season, Bobbi and Rose were assigned to the area near Webster Hall, New York City’s largest night club. Tonight it was hosting an assortment of Heavy Metal bands at it’s 1500 person capacity. The venue had its own security but a relatively warm December night plus alcohol plus potential party drugs were a recipe for disaster. “I’m used to being a party goer.” Bobbi’s hazel eyes twinkled in the backdrop of flashing colored lights. She looked at Rose’s face. “Uh, i guess, you were never a club goer.” She scanned the block.

“Nah, I’m not a party goer. I was always pretty serious.” She headed to the end of the block. A car filled with who appeared college kids beeped and waved. The two detectives waved back. They could feel the electricity build in the area as concert goers started to arrive for the 7 pm door opening. Ticket holders dressed simply in tee shirts depicting their favorite bands to various forms of leather, spandex, fishnet stockings and skits so short, they appeared more like a pillow case. Rose moved to a vantage point across from the main entrance. Bobbi stood on the street side of the sidewalk barricades that assisted directing traffic. The NYPD was very good at crowd control and monitoring. Other officers dispersed throughout the area. All watching an d waiting.

Bobbi watched the orderly and happy crowd advance into the venue. Suddenly a cry emanated from somewhere along the cordon. More voices cried out in similar dismay. Bobbi and two other officers jumped the barricade and followed the woeful cries. A young man lay on the pavement. His lips were a blue grey collar. His eyes wide open and empty. “What happened?” One of the male cops asked the bystanders. They  met with the usual avoidance of all things police. Others continued to move past them to gain entrance to the concert,  Bobbi knelt beside him to try to assess the situation more closely. The third cop radioed for EMS. Bobbi listened and found no breathing. His heart was still beating rapidly. His pupils were pinpoints. Immediately she suspected and opiate overdose. Opiates were killing off an entire generation. Easy access to the drugs, low-cost of heroin and the lack of rehab beds made it a perfect storm for addiction. She reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out the OD kit, issued to 40,000 NYPD officers for just this purpose. Following the method, she was taught, she administered the drug. Moments later the young man lurched to his side and vomited on the shoes of the other cop. Sirens sounded from the approaching EMS vehicle. Soon the patient was packaged and on route to the closest hospital.  “Nice job.” Rose offered the three cops. None of them felt any satisfaction.

If you or someone you love has a problem.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) .

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