St. Charles County drug abuse awareness campaign uses dramatic video to show realities of heroin epidemic

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO (KPLR) - The St. Charles County Ambulance District is teaming up with other first responders in a newly launched anti-heroin campaign. Part of the campaign features an 8-minute-long video that shows a re-enactment of a heroin overdose call.

"The video was produced to give originally students-but the public at large-a look at the eyes of our paramedics at what they see when they go on an overdose call" said Kyle Gaines with the St. Charles County Ambulance District.

The video also includes a real 911 call placed by a St. Charles County mother when she finds her 21-year-old son unconscious, overdosing on Heroin.

"You can hear the pain in her voice" said Gaines.  "that's when our paramedics and other emergency responders on scene have to do the always unpleasant task of telling a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, whoever is on scene that their loved on did not survive" he said.

In 2016, the St. Charles County Ambulance District is on track to have responded to nearly 420 heroin overdose calls.  That's an average of one every day.  The number of deaths has also increased.  In 2008 there were 22 heroin related deaths in the county, to 53 in 2015.

"It's not always that we are able to revive patients successfully" Gaines said.  "Sometimes these individuals do succumb to their overdose and we aren't able to get them back" he said.

The video is one step down the path to ending heroin overdose.  Gaines says it will take entire communities to walk the remaining steps together to end the dangerously increasing trend.

"If people are silent on this topic and stop speaking about it, it seemingly goes away and it most definitely isn't going away" Gaines said.  "So we need people to continue those conversations around the dinner table, have those conversations with your kids, around the dinner table so that this remains front of mind for everybody" he said.

SCAD will join other first responders and law enforcement for an anti-heroin awareness event Thursday, January 25 at Fort Zumwalt East High School at 7:00 p.m.