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Opioid crisis not slowing down in Ross County

Jackie - burger king overdose birth.jpg
First responders say they found a woman overdosing while sitting on a Burger King toilet, and didn't realize she was giving birth (WSYX/WTTE)

It's the video that stunned our viewers and even first responders working the case. Medics rushed to treat a baby who was just born in a toilet while police said his mom was high on drugs and didn't even know she gave birth to a baby.

Chillicothe police said the mother is getting treatment for addiction and the baby is being handled by Ross County Children’s services.

Medics say responding to these kinds of scenes are becoming a daily occurrence. Chillicothe firefighters said years ago someone who overdosed on drugs would only need 2 milligrams of overdose antidote Naloxone, but now it could be up to two to four times that - or even more - to bring them back to life.

"The overdoses have definitely increased,” said Captain Donn Zindren with the Chillicothe Fire Department. “The drugs are getting stronger."

Zindren has been a firefighter for the past 13 years and said the amount of calls of overdoses comes in waves.

"We've had eight overdoses in a 24 hour shift. We've had eight overdoses in eight hours,” said Captain Zindren.

Just last week, Chillicothe Police arrested 26-year-old Zachary Frey on possession of drugs. In police body cam video you can see him passed out in his car at a Burger King parking lot, mumbling to police, and drooling from his mouth.

“What are you doing? Sleeping out here,” you hear an officer ask Frey in the body cam video.

“No my girlfriend is in there,” Frey mumbled to the officer.

“I mean you were passed out man, drooling all over the place,” the officer said.

“I'm just waiting on her,” Frey responded as he tried to turn off his car but couldn’t.

Police said his girlfriend, Elizabeth Sanders, was the woman passed out while sitting on a toilet inside the Burger King bathroom, with no idea she was giving birth to her son. Police said they found heroin next to her.

No word if she'll face any charges for the drugs, but she was arrested on an unrelated case involving theft. Her family said she's been to rehab before and is currently getting treatment, again.

"It's kind of at a standstill,” said Cpt. Zindren. “I think every community is having problems with it and we're doing the best we can to cope with it."

It’s taking a toll on first responders too.

"They've become numb to it,” said Cpt. Zindren.

While ABC 6 interviewed Zindren at the firehouse, a call came in about a woman passed out in a bank parking lot, another possible overdose. Captain Zindren says all they can do is save lives and hope others won't give in to the opioid crisis.

"We need to educate the next generation to keep them off of it. I would hate to see that cycle repeated,” he stated.

According to the CDC the number of pregnant women dependent on or abusing opioids has skyrocketed. It's quadrupled since 1999, underscoring the severity of the opioid crisis.

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