Portland police called to 11 overdose reports in one day

By Jeff Thompson (OPB)
April 3, 2023 6:35 p.m.

Three people died from apparent overdoses last Friday, and officers responded to eight other overdose calls in the downtown Portland area that day.

Police officers were called to 11 reports of overdoses in the downtown Portland area in just over 12 hours on Friday.

Three nasal applicators labeled "Narcan" and a hypodermic needle lay on a painted cinder block surface

In this file photo provided by the Portland Police Bureau, three doses of Narcan are shown next to a hypodermic needle.

Portland Police Bureau

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During that period, between 10:29 a.m. and 11:08 p.m., three people died from apparent overdoses, according to the Portland Police Bureau. In one of those three cases, officers attempted to save a 25-year-old woman’s life using the overdose-reversing drug Narcan.

Officers say they also used Narcan during five other overdose-related emergencies on Friday.

Other than the times and locations, they did not release any further details on the other three overdose reports.

According to a police bureau press release, all of the overdoses involved opioid use and investigators believe fentanyl was a factor in most of them.

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office will investigate the deaths. The Portland Police Bureau Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit may follow up on any leads to suppliers that may result in criminal charges.

Police say community members often recognize signs of an overdose and call 911 to report these emergencies. They say these calls save lives, and they add that under Oregon law, people calling for emergency medical assistance will not be charged with any drug-related offenses.

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