2 addiction counselors at halfway house die of drug overdose

Barsaba Taglieri
Mag 25, 2017

Two counselors at an addiction facility died from opioid overdoses last Sunday, according to a press release issued today by Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.

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. The counselors were found unresponsive in separate bedrooms. Residents tried to revive one of the counselors with a nasal inject of naloxone, but their attempts were unsuccessful.

Township police recovered used needles and heroin baggies near the bodies, Hogan said.

Photo courtesy of the Chester County District Attorney's Office. "I said "that's sad, but it's not that unusual".

They died at the scene, and their identities haven't been released.

Baggies stamped with a Superman logo and "danger" logo were found in the counselors' rooms and tested positive for heroin and fentanyl, officials said.

Hogan had a warning for heroin users. "We will not even let law enforcement handle them without special precautions because of the extreme danger of death or injury".

Many addiction counselors are former addicts themselves. But they question the wisdom of running a facility like this in the middle of a residential area. "It's scary for me", said Adam Hickey.

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

Hogan called the incident, a "frightening example" of how bad the opioid epidemic has become when drug counselors are overdosing and dying. "The staff members in charge of supervising recovering addicts succumbed to their own addiction". An investigation into this case continues. "Opioids are a monster that is slowly consuming our population".

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