Drug counselors die after overdose at addiction facility

Drug counselors die after overdose at addiction facility
Posted at 4:00 AM, May 25, 2017

Two counselors at an addiction facility in southeastern Pennsylvania died after overdosing on opioids, according to the Chester County District Attorney.

"If anybody is wondering how bad the opioid epidemic has become, this case is a frightening example," Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said. "The staff members in charge of supervising recovering addicts succumbed to their own addiction and died of opioid overdoses. Opioids are a monster that is slowly consuming our population." Authorities haven't released the counselors' names.

First responders were called Monday to Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge in West Brandywine Township, a private group home and halfway house for struggling drug addicts, according to the district attorney's office.

Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge did not return phone calls for comment and, as of Wednesday, its website has been taken offline.

The six recovering addicts who live at Freedom Ridge Lodge found the two live-in counselors in separate rooms, unresponsive, authorities said. The counselors were found with used needles and small baggies for heroin near their bodies, the district attorney's office said.

The concerned residents gave one of the counselors an injection of the opioid antidote naloxone before they called paramedics, but it didn't revive the counselor, the district attorney's office said.

Both counselors were pronounced dead at the scene by first responders.

The baggies found at the scene were stamped with "Superman" and "Danger/Skull & Crossbones" logos, investigators said, and preliminary toxicology reports from the deceased counselors tested positive for heroin and fentanyl.