A man recovering from a near-fatal heroin overdose in a Virginia hospital suffered a second overdose in his hospital room after a dealer brought drugs inside the building.
Authorities in Alexandria, Va., released details Tuesday concerning an unidentified 24-year-old man who overdosed twice within 24 hours last summer, the second time from a hospital bed he was recovering in. First responders saved the man’s life by administering the overdose reversal drug Narcan at the scene of his first overdose, subsequently taking the man to an area hospital to recover, reports NBC Washington.
A pair of aggressive dealers followed the man to the hospital and later slipped into his room with a supply of heroin, which they allegedly sold to the patient.
“Within 24 hours, we received another call, where the person had overdosed again, within the hospital,” Alexandria Deputy Police Chief David Huchler told NBC Washington.
Police are now on the hunt for 25-year-old Michael “Flip” Filipowicz, whose current whereabouts are unknown. Filipowicz, who authorities are expected to charge with conspiracy to distribute heroin, allegedly signed himself in as a guest of the unidentified man.
Filipowicz’s accomplice, 20-year-old Dana Gotliffe, is currently in custody and also faces a charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin.
“Our first step isn’t to charge the person that has overdosed,” Huchler told NBC Washington. “We’re looking to get to the suppliers and the dealers so that we can have an impact on the flow of drugs within the city.”
Drug overdoses, fueled by substances like heroin, are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse released Sept. 7 paints a grim outlook for the future of the drug crisis ravaging American communities.
The study predicts the addiction epidemic in America will continue to deteriorate, pushing drug deaths to an estimated 71,600 in 2017. If the estimates prove accurate, 2017 will be the second year in a row drug deaths surpass U.S. casualties from the Vietnam War.
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