Vermont Hospital Treats Nine Cases of Heroin Overdose in a One Day

Dan Joseph
By Dan Joseph | April 30, 2014 | 1:58 PM EDT

The state of Vermont is famous for its maple syrup and Cheddar cheese.  But, typically, the Green Mountain State is not associated with hard drugs like heroin.

Heroin certainly seemed to be a popular choice at one Burlington hospital where eight individuals were brought in Tuesday over the course of seven hours. It is suspected that each person was suffering from a heroin overdose.

Each patient had stopped breathing but all survived.

Yet, another patient was brought in later that night bringing the total to nine.

Dr. Stephen Leffler, chief medical officer for Fletcher Allan Hospital, said that having so many heroin overdoses in such a short period of time was exceedingly rare.

"We might usually see eight overdoses over a couple of months," he said. "This was a once in five year event."

It is suspected that the sudden spike in overdoses is due to a bad batch of heroin that has made its way into the community

Leffler says that all the instances came from the same four Vermont communities, but that the communities were not clustered in one area.

Heroin has become such a serious problem in Vermont that state police have begun carrying doses of the drug, Narcan with them at all times. The drug can counter the effects of a heroin overdose.

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