Overdoses in Wheeling already beating last year’s total

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In Wheeling, more people are overdosing this year than ever before.

Wheeling Police announced today that more people have overdosed so far this year than all of last year combined. And three times more of those cases have been fatal.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger says there’s a disconnect in the road to recovery. He says police, firefighters, doctors and nurses all respond to these cases, but they have no time to follow up on each person’s recovery.

“They have more calls, if you will,” said Chief Shawn Schwertfeger. “They can not spend an inordinate amount of time with the folks who have overdosed. So, the missing piece to me would be a social worker, a counselor, a professional in that regard that we could maybe plug-in to that 108-110 persons who have overdosed.”

Chief Schwertfeger says he is frustrated on several levels. He sees the same people overdosing three and four times, but he says that’s due to the strong hold addiction has on people.

But he’s most frustrated at the secondary crimes that occur–break-ins, thefts, even victimizing their own family members.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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