Saint Paul police issue OD Alert after five suspected heroin overdoses in 36 hours

The Saint Paul Police Department issued a public safety “OD Alert” on Wednesday, June 5 after five people overdosed on what is suspected to be heroin in a span of 36 hours.

The overdoses occurred in four different locations, including one on the 1900 block of Cottage Street East, one near the intersection of Dale Street North and Carroll Avenue, one on the 600 block of Western Avenue North, and two on the 1200 block of Randolph Avenue.

Investigators with the department’s Community Outreach and Stabilization Unit believe all five incidents are linked to a “bad batch” of suspected heroin, which means it is laced with other illicit chemicals that make them even more hazardous and deadly.

Due to the spike in overdoses, the Saint Paul Police Department is alerting people to the danger and asking community members to take the following steps:

  • Call 911 immediately if they or someone they know is experiencing an overdose;
  • Administer naloxone (Narcan) to people experiencing a suspected overdose;
  • Share this information with anyone they know who uses heroin; and
  • Seek help for opioid addiction through a chemical dependency treatment center.

The department is also reminding people about Minnesota’s “Good Samaritan Law,” which protects people from being charged or prosecuted if they act in good faith while seeking medical assistance for another person experiencing a drug related overdose.

This is the first time the police department has issued a public safety “OD Alert” since it began using ODMAP last month. It’s a mobile-based application that allows officers and investigators to track opioid use trends and quickly react to spikes in overdoses.

In addition to issuing the OD Alert, officers with the Community Outreach and Stabilization Unit will be visiting areas of the city where heroin use is common, informing people about overdose risks and offering information about chemical dependency resources.

The goal of issuing the alert is to help ensure that people who struggle with heroin and opioid addiction live to seek help for their addictions.