GROTON, CT - MARCH 23: A box of the opioid antidote Naloxone, also known as Narcan, sits on display during a family addiction support group on March 23, 2016 in Groton, CT. The drug is used to revive people suffering from heroin overdose. The group Communities Speak Out organizes monthly meetings at a public library for family members to talk about how their loved ones' addiction affects them and to give each other emotional support. Communities nationwide are struggling with the unprecidented heroin and opioid pain pill epidemic. On March 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced guidelines for doctors to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers prescribed nationwide, in an effort to curb the epidemic. The CDC estimates that most new heroin addicts first became hooked on prescription pain medication before graduating to heroin, which is stronger and cheaper. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Tina Terry, WSOCTV.com
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C.
North Carolina emergency workers in Rowan County expressed frustration Thursday over "Narcan parties," which they said are increasing in the area.
Emergency workers said they've noticed the spike over the past six months, WSOC-TV reported.
"With Narcan readily available and over the counter now, they are having group gatherings called Narcan parties,” said Chris Richardson, Emergency Management Services battalion chief for Rowan County. “They will have numerous people around.”
He said party-goers get high in houses or cars in public places, then an emergency responder with Narcan will try to revive them, giving the drug user a rush.
He said a few weeks ago that a couple overdosed on heroin at a shopping center, knowing an ambulance with Narcan was just a call away.
"(They) picked up the drug, didn't want to wait to get to their residence, both wanted to use, they did it in a public place so they would be found," Richardson said.
The numbers of overdoses are staggering.
There were 292 calls in 2016 in Rowan County when Narcan was administered.
This year, through June, they've already had 284 calls for a 94 percent increase.
The opioid epidemic is staggering in parts of Ohio, too, where officials are saying citizens are taking advantage of emergency services.