ST. ANN, Mo. – First responders worked quickly to save the lives of five people who overdosed on fentanyl inside a St. Ann residence on Thursday.
Authorities said they’ve never seen anything like it: five people in one location had passed out from overdosing on a highly potent opioid.
Around 4:30 a.m. Thursday, St. Ann police received a call for an overdose at a home on Jane Avenue.
First responders found four people unconscious in the basement and a fifth person passed out in the backyard – all of them overdosed on fentanyl. They were identified as four men and a woman in their 20s.
“When the medics got here, and there was a lot of medics, they actually had said that they had never seen anything like this before,” said St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jiminez. “Five subjects inside all had passed out basically on their death beds.”
Jiminez said first responders used Narcan to revive the individuals. Three of the overdose victims were conscious when they were taken to a local hospital. The other two remained unconscious.
On the same day as the overdoses in St. Ann, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. Dr. Faisal Kahn, director of the St. Louis County Health Department, said more than 25 agencies had agreed to work together to develop safer opioid prescribing and reduce the stigma around addiction.
“This initiative will be successful if the number of people seeking treatment for dependence and addiction goes through the roof and we’re successfully able to link them with efficient and affordable and accessible treatment opportunities, so that nobody gets turned away because of their inability to pay,” Kahn said.
Detective Ricardo Franklin, St. Louis County Police Department, said he welcomed the new effort.
“This collaboration is definitely needed from a police perspective,” he said. “We’d like to put it out there that we are here to help.”