Jul 22, 2016 7:15 PM
MANCHESTER — A man is facing drug possession charges after police said he overdosed in the backseat of a taxi.
Manchester police, fire and AMR ambulance service responded to a 911 call from a Queen City Taxi driver who said his passenger passed out during a ride Thursday morning.
The driver pulled into a parking lot on Candia Road when he noticed the man was slumped over. First responders treated the man with Narcan until he regained consciousness. Jonathan Bijoel, 34, was allegedly in possession of a hypodermic needle and a small cylinder that tested positive for heroin. Bijoel is charged with possession of a controlled drug and was placed on a 72-hour hold by parole.
First responders told NH1 News that, unfortunately, those kinds of calls aren't entirely unusual.
"In vehicles, while people are driving, restaurants, bathrooms we really see it everywhere," said Chris Stawasz with AMR.
Manchester Fire Chief Dan Goonan said the number of overdoses are steady, but not on the rise, which is an improvement. Goonan said they are seeing success in the city's Safe Station program that designates all fire stations as a place for anyone to go to ask for help with an addiction. The service is available 24/7.
Safe Station launched in May and has had 251 participants.
"We gather our information from the recovery centers and they're telling us the rates for safe station are around 70 percent for people staying in some sort of program," Goonan said.
Auburn recently became Safe Station certified and Hooksett is expected to do the same in the near future.
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