Lancaster paramedic issues warning to drug users

A paramedic has issued a stark warning to drug users #dontusealone after being called to two heroin overdoses in a week where the person was not breathing.

Friday, 8th April 2016, 11:16 am
Updated Friday, 8th April 2016, 12:21 pm
Vinny Romano, advanced paramedic with North West Ambulance Service, has issued a warning to heroin users.

Vinny Romano, an advanced paramedic based in Lancaster, tweeted on Twitter: “Sharp rise for @NWAmbulance dealing with heroin ODs in the Lancaster and Morecambe area resulting in respiratory arrests #dontusealone.”

Vinny, 41, who has been an advanced paramedic for nearly six years, said: “When someone is in respiratory arrest it means their heart is beating but they are not breathing. We had a couple of heroin overdoses last week, one in Lancaster, the other in Morecambe, which was quite unusual. One person survived but I’m unsure of the other one. They both arrived at the emergency department alive.

“It means there is a more potent batch of heroin going around, and the problem with street drugs is they don’t know what they are buying, the heroin can have a more severe effect.

“I suspect some drugs in the area are stronger than people are used to. My tweet was really to give them a bit of advice, its really about using more sensibly, if they have to use it, use it when someone is around. If they stop breathing, they can’t call for help. If people are with them they can call an ambulance and it is something that can be reversed really quickly by giving a drug.

“You have to be realistic that it is going to be used but there are safer ways to use it.”

Police said they were unaware of a problem with pure heroin in the area.

North West Ambulance Trust did not wish to comment.