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Apparent overdose victim helped while riding county bus

Posted at 7:03 PM, Sep 09, 2016

MILWAUKEE -- The growing concern over the heroin epidemic in southeast Wisconsin continues. Over the past week there have been 18 drug related deaths. A majority of those victims had known opiate addictions.

On Monday, another apparent overdose was kept from turning deadly as a man riding a county bus called for help.

"He's overdosing!" yelled Todd Leech while recording cell phone video of another man suffering a few rows in front of him.

“If no one would have done anything he would have died," said Leech.

Leech says from the moment he say saw this man walk onto the bus he knew something was wrong.

"He was crashing so hard that you could just see it," Leech.

The video shows the bus driver calling for security. Minutes later, paramedics also arrived. Leech says they had to use Narcan to revive him, a medication used to block the effects of opioids, especially an overdose.

Over the past week, 18 people have lost their lives to suspected drug related deaths. The spike contributes to the 10-percent increase the medical examiner's office has seen throughout the year.

“Be aware that the potency is increasing," said Forensic Technical Director Sara Scheiber.

Impact 2-1-1 says the heroin epidemic from the past year stems back to a dozen years of increased prescription painkiller usage.

Impact’s president says people take opioids for a legitimate reason, then become addicted. Some turn to heroin because it's cheaper, and easier to find on the streets.

"It starts out simple enough and then it just goes out of control," said Leech.

Back at the bus on Monday night, the victim was saved and taken to the hospital. Leech wants those suffering from addiction to realize how close it could have been.

"It happened to him, it happens everywhere," he said.

Milwaukee County Transit System spokesperson Brendan Conway says Monday night was is a rare incident. The transit system has security minutes away whenever someone is in need of medical help.