2 addiction counselors at halfway house die of drug overdose

The men died at the Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge.

The counselors worked at the Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge in West Brandywine, a recovery home and halfway house for addicts which had two counselors and six men as residents.

The authorities believe the lodge's residents, all recovering drug addicts, tried to revive the two unresponsive drug counselors with naloxone, or Narcan, a new drug meant to combat the symptoms of an overdose, before medics arrived at the scene. They were pronounced dead at the scene by first responders. Authorities are warning the public to stay away from baggies with those markings, saying they "are likely to kill anybody who uses them". The bags were stamped with a "Superman" logo and a "Danger/Skull & Crossbones" logo.

Were the counselors not aware of the danger? Police and emergency personnel were then summoned, according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. The death of the two drug counselors can only reinforce the desperate need of combating the current opioid crisis that is now taking over the United States.

Hogan called the incident, a "frightening example" of how bad the opioid epidemic has become when drug counselors are overdosing and dying.

Freedom Ridge, located in a quiet residential area, is a private residence used as a group home or halfway house for people struggling with addiction.

Police found several small bags of heroin labeled with either the Superman logo or a skull and cross bones image with the word "Danger" printed on them, Hogan said. "The staff members in charge of supervising recovering addicts succumbed to their own addiction".

"Nobody is immune", Chester County Department of Drugs and Alcohol director Vince Brown said in a statement. Police say the counselors' duties included organizing daily activities and keeping medications under lock-and-key. "We will not even let law enforcement handle them without special precautions because of the extreme danger of death or injury", he continued. Anyone with information should call Detective Ben Martin at 610-344-6866.

  • Joanne Flowers