Drugs and drug paraphenelia in plain view in the rooms of the two Pa. counselors found dead after overdosing on heroin and fentanyl
Chester County police said two male counselors at a drug addiction facility in West Brandywine, Pennsylvania were pronounced dead from drug overdose, Sunday. Toxicology reports indicated the men died from a lethal cocktail of heroin and fentanyl.
The on-site counselors oversaw the daily activities of six residents, all recovering drug addicts, at the Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge in West Brandywine.
The counselors were responsible for establishing daily activities for the residents, and for administering residents’ medication.
The facility bills itself as “A special recovery home for men that provides a safe place to live.”
It promises the following to residents: “We can help you build a strong sense of yourself so you can return to a new world with a feeling of success and strength. You will acquire tools that will enable you to gain a new way of life.”
Residents found the two counselors unresponsive in their bedrooms Sunday afternoon, the District Attorney’s Office of Chester County said.
Authorities responded to the scene at around 2:15 p.m., but could not save the counselors’ lives. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Photographs from the scene showed evidence of an overdose with empty packets of heroin, a half-empty spoon and syringe scattered next to two packs of cigarettes, a vaporizer, and cases of snus tobacco, in plain view
Police recovered heroin baggies from both counselors’ rooms, with “Superman” and “Danger/Skull & Crossbones” logos on them.
Both victims tested positive for heroin and fentanyl. “Preliminary toxicology tests for each of the deceased were positive for heroin and fentanyl,” the DA’s office said in a statement.
The Chester County district attorney urged the public to avoid contact with drugs in packets bearing the same logos.
The drugs “appear to be heroin laced with fentanyl and are likely to kill anybody who uses them. We will not even let law enforcement handle them without special precautions because of the extreme danger of death or injury,” District Attorney Thomas Hogan said.
He called the case “a frightening example” of “how bad the opioid epidemic has become.”
“The staff members in charge of supervising recovering addicts succumbed to their own addiction and died of opioid overdoses. Opioids are a monster that is slowly consuming our population,” he said.
The case is under investigation by the Chester County Detectives and West Brandywine Police Department.
For privacy reasons, authorities would only identify the victims as men ages 33 and 24. One had a room in the basement of the home. The other lived on an upstairs floors. And both were pronounced dead at the scene.