Two heroin overdose deaths suspected in Licking County
First responders now are investigating two deaths they believe were caused by heroin overdoses. Newark Police said Shannon Wyman was unresponsive when they got to her home on the east side. Wyman, 40 was pronounced dead at Licking Memorial Hospital on Monday afternoon.
Wyman's housemate and friend Doug Colling said she had been "clean" about a month since completing re-hab. Colling said he is angry with the men who gave her the heroin. "My personal opinion. Anybody that sells it, gives it to somebody else should be taken out and shot."
Colling said he hopes others who might be using heroin learn from Wyman's passing.
"Get smart. Don't do it. It takes your life. It takes your money. It takes your will power. It takes your soul."
Newark Fire Chief Patrick Conner said they have had about a 15% increase in heroin-related calls over the past year. Conner said he had to budget an additional $10,000 for Narcan because they are often using more than one dose on an overdose victim.
Newark Police Deputy Chief Darrin Logan they are using thicker gloves to protect officers from overdosing and they carry Narcan. "We need to do whatever we can to protect people, not only from other people, but I guess themselves.
Anybody that is close to the substance that touches it, comes in contact with their skin, it could be definitely hazardous if not deadly," said Logan.
The Newark Addiction Recovery Initiative or "NARI" has been implemented for about a year and so far, more than one hundred people have asked for help with their addiction by coming in to police headquarters and getting connected with treatment.
"We are not looking to charge them with any crime, there is nothing criminal about it, it is simply a way to reach out if they don't know where else to go," said Logan.
Licking County Sheriff's detectives are also investigating a possible heroin overdose death. Christopher Cole Gordon, 26 of Alexandria died on Saturday. An autopsy will be conducted to determine if that was what took Gordon's life.