On Friday, drug overdoses are believed to have led to at least 3 deaths and multiple applications of a drug used to counteract the effect of opiates in downtown Portland.
On Friday, March 31, 2023, Central Precinct officers downtown responded to a significant number of calls for service related to narcotics overdoses, performing life saving measures on many of them, and death investigations on others.
There were 11 calls for service between 10:29a.m. and 11:08p.m of overdose-related medical emergencies. Eight of these calls occurred during the C shift alone, which occurs between 3:00p.m. and 1:00a.m. Four of these calls occurred in less than an hour – between 8:20p.m. and 8:52p.m. Officers used Narcan (naloxone) as a life-saving measure on 6 different occasions. Three of the calls resulted in a death investigation. Nearly all these overdoses involved opioid narcotics, and we suspect at this time the majority of them were a result of fentanyl usage.
The Portland Police Bureau and Central Precinct officers acknowledge these medical emergencies are often recognized by community members who call in to the Bureau of Emergency Communications via 911 to report signs of overdose. These calls are appreciated and allow responders to know exactly where to respond to provide aid. These calls save lives. Oregon law establishes immunity from drug-related offenses for those calling for emergency medical assistance (ORS 475.898).
Officers are often dispatched alongside medical responders to the scenes of overdoses to aid patients and ensure there is a safe scene for other responders to work. The Portland Police Bureau and Central Precinct officers recognize the important work performed by both the Portland Fire and Rescue and AMR Paramedics, and value the partnership between our agencies when responding to these calls.
The death investigations performed by officers occur alongside investigations by the Multnomah County Medical Examiner. These investigations are routed to the Portland Police Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit, which does follow-up investigations.
Below is a list of suspected overdose calls Friday, March 31, 2023:
23-82961 10:29a.m. SW 1st Ave / SW Main St *Narcan Used*
23-82984 11:01a.m. 200 block NW 3rd Ave *Narcan Used*
23-83018 11:51a.m. 600 block of NW Naito Pkwy *DEATH of 33 year old male*
23-83228 4:40p.m. SW 4th Ave / SW Washington St *Narcan Used*
23-83283 5:55p.m. 500 block of SW 6th Ave *Narcan Used*
23-83406 8:20p.m. SW 4th Ave / SW Washington St *Narcan Used* - *DEATH of 25 year old female
23-83418 8:33p.m. W Burnside / NW Broadway
23-83426 8:44p.m. SW 5th Ave / SW Washington St
23-83431 8:52p.m. SW Broadway / SW Oak St *DEATH*
23-83516 10:56p.m. SW Alder / SW 4th Ave *Narcan Used*
23-83519 11:08p.m. 300 block SW 4th Ave
This list is not exhaustive and some overdose incidents may not be reflected here. It provides a snapshot of the events of the day to illustrate the concerning issue.
There are resources available for drug abuse and addiction services. For more information, please see the resources link on our website: https://www.portland.gov/police/divisions/narcotics-and-organized-crime
Source: Portland Police