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Paramedics respond to an overdose

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    Paramedics respond to an overdose - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Portland paramedics load a 29-year-old woman into an ambulance after she overdosed on heroin and was found unconscious on Congress Street by a passer-by. The Portland Fire Department – and emergency crews across Maine – respond to heroin overdoses much more frequently than even three years ago, officials say.

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    Paramedics respond to an overdose - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Portland paramedics treat a woman who overdosed on heroin on Congress Street.

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    Paramedics respond to an overdose - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Portland paramedic Nathaniel Sparling administers a dose of Narcan to a woman found unconscious on Congress Street after she had injected herself with 1/4 gram of heroin. In Portland, the fire department has given overdose patients the Narcan antidote 91 times through July 31.
 That’s on pace to be nearly twice as often as 2014, and more than triple the rate in 2012, when Narcan was given 56 times.

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    Paramedics respond to an overdose - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    While politicians and community leaders are now speaking out about the heroin epidemic, medics have been dealing with it for years. Narcan use has become so frequent that fire crews use it as a verb – “we Narcaned him.”

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    Paramedics respond to an overdose - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    A 29-year-old woman regains consciousness after being administered 1mg of Narcan to combat the effects of a heroin overdose. She later said that she usually shoots up twice daily with 1/2 gram doses, but had only used 1/4 gram because she had heard that it was strong heroin.

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    Paramedics respond to an overdose - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Portland paramedics Steven Bishop, left, and Nathaniel Sparling monitor a 29-year-old woman after she was found unconscious from a heroin overdose on Congress Street. The woman thanked the paramedics, one of whom recognized her from an overdose about a month ago. "At least this time I still have my shoes," said the woman.

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    Paramedics respond to an overdose - Derek Davis/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Dan Svenson, a Portland firefighter and paramedic, demonstrates the procedure for administering Narcan nasally, in between calls at Central Station on Congress Street.

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