Second suspected OD in 24 hours reported in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — Naloxone has saved 33 lives in this city of 20,000 residents since the overdose-reversal medication was first administered in 2015.

It arrived apparently too late to revive a 61-year-old Port Angeles man on Wednesday afternoon.

Naloxone was not enough to keep the man alive after the Peninsula Communications dispatch center received the emergency call 2 p.m. Wednesday, making him the second suspected drug fatality reported in Port Angeles in a 24-hour period.

His wife found him unresponsive at 4 p.m. Wednesday in a living room chair at their residence on the west side of town, Port Angeles Deputy Police Chief Jason Viada said.

He was given CPR before being administered naloxone, Viada said

An autopsy and toxicology test will be performed.

“We’ve got substantial indicators from the initial investigation that this is a fatal overdose,” Viada said.

Viada said evidence also points to a heroin overdose causing the death of a man whose body was found by an acquaintance at 2 a.m. Wednesday in a tent under the Eighth Street Tumwater Truck Route bridge.

Further details on the fatality were unavailable Thursday.

Viada said an autopsy and a toxicology test will be performed on the man, a transient in his 40s, whose identity is being withheld until his next of kin are notified.

Naloxone, first administered in April 2015 in Port Angeles, has prevented 33 people from dying from drug overdoses, Viada said.

Drug-overdose fatalities dropped across Clallam County from 19 in 2016 to seven in 2020 and none in January and February, according to the county Prosecuting Attorney-Coroner’s website at clallam.net.prosecutor.

Autopsies are pending for some deaths in 2021, according to the website.

According to the publicly available emergency-response call-for-service log at cityofpa.us, there were at least seven drug overdose calls for service in Clallam County in January, three in February, six in March and on April 2 and Sunday.

“It’s important to remember that when you go to the pharmacy and you purchase drugs, you purchase a highly regulated product,” Viada said

“When you purchase drugs on the street, you are purchasing a concoction of chemicals, and you really don’t know what your are getting.

“I think that’s obvious to everybody, but many people do not stop to think about it.

“That has got to be one possible contributor to the ups and downs in overdoses that we see when we examine our statistics.”

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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