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Ore. first responders rescue 8 in suspected fentanyl overdose

Eight patients were treated with naloxone after fire and EMS personnel were called to the North Park Blocks in Portland

By Catalina Gaitán

PORTLAND, Ore. — First responders rescued eight people after they ingested what appeared to be a powder laced with fentanyl and overdosed in a Northwest Portland park Monday morning, officials said.

Four people were taken to hospitals and four others were treated at the scene, according to Portland Fire & Rescue spokesperson Rick Graves. Those who overdosed appeared to be in their “late teens and early twenties,” Graves said.

Firefighters treated the eight people with naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug. All are expected to survive, Graves said.

The incident marks the highest number of overdoses in a single response in the fire agency’s history, Graves said.

Firefighters and Portland police responded at 10:15 a.m. to the North Park Blocks near Northwest Park Avenue and Couch Street, where they found the “group of young adults,” Graves and police said.

Portland police are investigating and asked anyone with information to contact

The Portland Police Bureau in May warned of “a potentially dangerous batch of drugs circulating the street marketplace” that resulted in eight suspected overdose deaths in the city in three days.

Evidence indicated some of the victims believed they were using cocaine but that the substance they ingested was pure powdered fentanyl or a mix of cocaine and fentanyl, police said that month.

Nine children in Portland also overdosed – five fatally – on fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, this past summer, according to the Portland Police Bureau. The overdose victims include three 1-year-olds, a 2-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old, and the rest are teenagers.

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