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Portland police report 11 suspected drug overdoses, at least 3 dead

Officers downtown responded to a large volume of calls related to drug overdoses on Friday. Three led to death investigations.

PORTLAND, Ore. — At least three people died and 11 people suffered suspected drug overdoses on Friday across downtown Portland, according to the Portland Police Bureau. 

On Friday, officers in downtown responded to nearly a dozen calls for overdoses between 10:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. According to police, officers used Narcan on six occasions, and three resulted in death investigations.

Sergeant Kevin Allen of PPB spoke to KGW regarding the quick action taken when responding to overdoses, "our primary concern is the person overdosing getting the help they need".

"We administer narcan and almost instantaneously it wakes them up giving them a chance to survive, stated Allen".

A 33-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were among the three dead. Police did not share any other information on the victims. 

Below is a list of the call times and locations from Friday:

  • 10:29 a.m. on Southwest 1st Avenue and Main Street
  • 11:01 a.m. near Northwest 3rd Avenue 
  • 11:51 a.m. near Northwest Naito Parkway 
  • 4:40 p.m. on Southwest 4th Avenue and Washington Street
  • 5:55 p.m. near Southwest 6th Avenue
  • 8:20 p.m. on Southwest 4th Avenue and Washington Street
  • 8:33 p.m. on West Burnside and Northwest Broadway
  • 8:44 p.m. on Southwest 5th Avenue and Washington Street
  • 8:52 p.m. on Southwest Broadway and Oak Street
  • 10:56 p.m. on Southwest Alder and 4th Avenue 
  • 11:08 p.m. near Southwest 4th Avenue 

PPB suspects that the majority of these overdoses were a result of fentanyl usage. 

Allen also spoke on the growing concerns surrounding overdoses, "We're not sure what's behind it but it's super concerning...want to get the word out there might be drugs out there that are particularly potent".

Fentanyl is a very strong opioid that is often produced illegally in Mexico and trafficked into the U.S. in pill or powder form.

The drug has been to blame for an increasing number of fatal overdoses in Oregon, including in young people; it was behind more than 60 fatal overdoses in people under age 24 in the state in 2021.

According to the PPB's Narcotics and Organized Crime Statistics, there were 29 investigations into overdose deaths in the city in 2020, and 34 in both 2018 and 2019.

Oregon law grants immunity from drug-related offenses for those calling for emergency medical assistance. 

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