Footage has emerged showing the moment Good Samaritans saved a man’s life after he overdosed on fentanyl.
The kind-hearted strangers came across the man in Kensington, Philadelphia, earlier this year and realised they needed to take quick action in order to save him.
Thinking on their feet, the group shone a light in his face and kept speaking to him, telling him to wake up until eventually he became conscious enough to stand up and tell them his name.
Warning: Graphic Content
The shocking video has been published to raise awareness about the ongoing fentanyl and opioid crisis in the city, as part of an ongoing programme called ‘Operation Save a Life’.
The programme relies on a group of volunteers, armed with bikes and rescue kits of Narcan – a medication used to block the effects of opioids – to ride around the neighbourhood of Kensington looking for people to revive.
Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence; as per WPVI-TV, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health says 160 people died from overdosing in the Kensington area alone in 2018 – a shocking figure, but one which is actually a 23 per cent decrease from the year before.
You can learn more about the group in the short video below:
Richard Milton, a founder member of the community bike patrol, said seeing somebody ‘standing there stabbing their arm [with a needle] in broad daylight’ is common practice in Kensington – something he says you ‘never see’ in other neighbourhoods.
He told the television station:
They sit there and let them die in their arms, rather than let us bring them out of their high. You see people dying, lying out here on these streets and people don’t care. They act like it’s natural, but it’s not.
As well as looking for people they can help revive, the group also pick up used needles and other medical waste littering the street using rubbish grabbers.
Milton said the group has so far picked up ‘thousands’ of needles, the true number of which he can’t count because there are simply too many.
The opioid crisis doesn’t stop in Kensington though; according to The Pew Charitable Trusts, drug overdose deaths in Philadelphia as a whole are at historic levels – with 1,217 people dying in the city in 2017, and 1,116 people dying in 2018 as a result of the drug.
Furthermore, 29 per cent of Philadelphia residents personally know someone who has died as a result of opioid use, with a further 40 per cent saying they know someone who had misused opioids in the past 12 months.
Hopefully, programmes such as ‘Operation Save A Life’ will have a hand in reducing those numbers, before the government are able to do something about the opioid epidemic that continues to plague the city.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).