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Drug Counselors At Addiction Facility Found Dead After Overdosing On Opioids

Two drug counselors working at the Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge to help others battle their drug addiction died of an opioid overdose.

The two men were found dead on Monday, May 22, at the addiction facility — a private residence in West Brandywine, Chester County, functioning as a group home or halfway house for individuals who struggle with drug abuse.

"If anybody is wondering how bad the opioid epidemic has become, this case is a frightening example," remarked Thomas Hogan, Chester County District Attorney.

Emergency responders who called to the halfway house at around 2:15 p.m. pronounced the two counselors dead on the scene.

Found By Their Own 'Patients'

Authorities haven't released the counselors' names, but one of the two men was 33, while the other would have been 25 on the day they were found dead.

Both of them were living at the facility as on-site counselors, together with six men in recovery, who discovered the bodies.

"When it is the counselors at the halfway house who are overdosing and dying, that makes this a frightening and sobering experience for everyone," Hogan said in a statement.

As part of their duties, the counselors not only coordinated the residents' daily activities, but were also responsible for keeping medications under lock-and-key.

"The staff members in charge of supervising recovering addicts succumbed to their own addiction and died of opioid overdoses," said Hogan.

Upon finding their counselors unresponsive in separate bedrooms, the facility's residents administered one of them a naloxone injection, but the attempt to revive the man failed.

"These poor folks who were working through their own recovery now also have to deal with the fact that their own counselors died and couldn't fight off that addiction," said Hogan, who talked to the residents after their counselors were found dead.

Heroin Laced With Fentanyl

The police found used needles and heroin baggies stamped with "Superman" and "Danger/Skull & Crossbones" logos in both men's rooms, states a news release from the Chester County District Attorney's Office.

Preliminary toxicology reports showed both men tested positive for heroin and fentanyl.

District Attorney Hogan cautioned people who find baggies stamped with the same logos in the area not to touch the opioid drugs.

Hogan underlined that even law enforcement officers must handle the evidence with extreme care because the baggies are highly dangerous.

"They appear to be heroin laced with fentanyl and are likely to kill anybody who uses them," he warned.

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