>> Staggering new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a 21% increase in opioid overdose deaths in 2016 compared to 2015. Reuters photographer, Brian Snyder, has been documenting the epidemic while embedded with a Cataldo Ambulance Service outside of Boston.>> The first full overdose I covered the patient was unconscious and not breathing on the front porch of a house.
>> Medics in Boston suburbs and beyond are bringing people back to life using a drug known as Narcan, which reverses overdose symptoms.>> One of the effects of Narcan once it works is that it can send a patient into withdrawal. They'll typically vomit when they come to. Sometime's they'll be combative and flail around.
One point we had a patient trying to kick the roof of the ambulance from laying on the stretcher. In Muldoon, the paramedics got called to an overdose in the bathroom of a grocery store. They took her out past the deli counter through the produce with other customers looking on.
The overdose patients I saw, once they were revived, would often deny doing anything. They also often ask what happened?>> Rescuing overdose victims often takes a toll on paramedics who see families torn apart in front of their eyes, or bereaved parents. The stressful job has a high turnover race with pay starting at just $14 an hour.
And the risks are high too. Just touching fentanyl can send an emergency worker into overdose.