Portland Community Shocked By Mass Overdose Of Teenagers

A Portland neighborhood is reeling after eight young people overdosed on drugs laced with fentanyl last week. The victims were all in their late teens and early twenties and were found near a playground around 10 a.m.

First responders treated all eight of the young people with Narcan to counteract the potentially deadly effects of the fentanyl. Four were hospitalized while the other refused to be taken in for treatment.

Portland Fire and Rescue spokesperson Rick Graves said the department believes it is the highest number of overdoses ever found with just one call.

He said the near tragedy should be a wake-up call. “If something hasn’t opened the window to where we are right now, this probably should.” Graves called it a “significant situation” with deadly drugs flooding local neighborhoods.

It appeared the eight victims believed they were snorting cocaine. The terrifying scene unfolded next to a playground

A dispatcher described the location as an “overdose at the elephant.” This referred to a large sculpture across the street from the play area frequented by children.

They added, “fentanyl overdose. They snorted through the nose.” The department instituted a mass-victim response, which it is only forced to do a handful of times each year. 

Unlike cocaine, which is generally snorted, fentanyl is usually smoked. Both, however, are regularly sold in white power form. 

One nearby resident, Robert Savage, told KPTV-TV that he personally has found three bodies in the area of overdose victims. “The fact that there were eight overdoses yesterday was horrific and yet, completely understandable in the scheme of things.”

He said in four years there he has only seen the situation get worse.

The Portland Police Bureau issued a press release after the disturbing incident “to warn the community about a concerning number of juvenile overdoses in recent months.”

Since June, 10 children in the area have overdosed, and five did not survive.

The month before, authorities were forced to warn the public about a “dangerous batch” of fentanyl. The press release said users thought they were consuming cocaine.

In fact, they were either ingesting a blend of cocaine and fentanyl or pure fentanyl in powdered form.