10 dead in DC overdoses from ‘bad batch’ of drugs

Ten people are dead after a series of drug overdoses in D.C.’s Ivy City and Trinidad neighborhoods in Northeast.

Seven others required emergency medical care, with some taken to the hospital and some walking away after a dose of Narcan, authorities said Tuesday.

The number of deaths is up from four reported Sunday.

Assistant Police Chief Morgan Kane said at a briefing that the overdoses started around 10 a.m. Saturday and ran through 6 p.m. Monday. They were “primarily concentrated” in Ivy City and Trinidad.

Kane said those who died range in age from their mid-30s to 60, “and include individuals from diverse backgrounds.”

“I want to extend my deepest most heartfelt condolences to the families and the loved ones of those individuals,” she said.

Kane pinned the fatal overdoses on a mixture of cocaine and suspected fentanyl. She said law enforcement will be in the community, “utilizing advanced investigative and evidence collection techniques to find those responsible for harming and killing our citizens.”

D.C.’s federal law enforcement partners are also part of the investigation.

“We know that we have a bad batch of drugs that are in our community,” Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Chris Geldart said.

Anyone with more information about the cases can call D.C. police at 202-727-9099 or text 50411.

Additionally, call 911 if someone has overdosed, and text LiveLongDC to 888-811 to find Naloxone near you and have it delivered.

“A small container of Narcan can reverse a drug overdose and potentially save a life,” Kane said. There are “two very important laws that protect you from being arrested if you call for help in an overdose situation:

“The Good Samaritan Law, which means officers will not arrest you for any drugs or alcohol on the scene when you sought health care or administered Narcan to someone who has overdosed; [and] the opiate overdose law means that having a kit — needle spoons, pipes or other paraphernalia — is no longer illegal. You would not get in trouble when MPD officers arrive to help someone who has overdosed.”

Watch the full briefing below.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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