The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has seen an “exponential increase in tragic illicit drug overdoses and poisonings” in recent weeks, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
While the DEA did not immediately provide numbers of overdoses in the region, Dallas Fire-Rescue told the Star-Telegram in an email that on March 21 its crews responded to 27 suspected drug overdoses between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., mostly in the area around Fair Park.
Spokesman Jason Evans told the Star-Telegram that Dallas Fire-Rescue typically responds to about six suspected drug overdose calls in a 24-hour period.
Fort Wort police directed Star-Telegram inquiries on the number of overdoses in the city to the Dallas field office of the DEA. Arlington police said they had no record of calls to law enforcement about suspected overdoses or deaths from known overdoses.
MedStar could not immediately provide the number of suspected overdose calls the paramedic service responded to.
A spokesperson for the DEA in Dallas said that because the investigation is ongoing the agency cannot comment on the current number of suspected overdoses or the drugs on which victims have overdosed or been poisoned.
“We immediately deployed resources to work hand-in-hand with North Texas law enforcement agencies to identify those responsible,” the DEA in Dallas said in an emailed statement. “While we are unable to confirm the drug or drug mixtures directly responsible for this, we cannot emphasize enough the dangers of illicit drug abuse and the irreversible consequences that can result. Lives have been lost and families have been forever changed.”
Anybody with information on drug trafficking in North Texas is asked to contact the Drug Enforcement Agency at 214-366-6900 or submit a tip online at dea.gov/submit-tip.