A Moorhead, Minn., man has died from an apparent heroin overdose in his home, authorities said Wednesday, bringing to at least eight the number of deaths from the illicit drug in northern Minnesota in recent weeks.
Ahmad Hajar Amin Gardi, 20. was found by family members about 9 p.m. Tuesday, police said. Emergency responders administered an antidote at the scene, but it could not save Gardi’s life, said Police Lt. Tory Jacobson. Gardi was taken to a Fargo hospital and died there, Jacobson added.
The antidote naloxone was successfully used in two other overdose emergencies in the past week in Moorhead, police said.
In light of the “increasing number of tragic deaths” from heroin overdoses of late, Jacobson issued a statement pleading with drug abusers to seek help.
Jacobson pointed out that, under so-called “good Samaritan” laws, no one should fear getting in trouble criminally for seeking emergency medical treatment for themselves or others during an overdose.
The wave of heroin overdose deaths and hospitalizations across northern Minnesota prompted an urgent plea from authorities last week for the public’s help in identifying dealers and users in an effort to prevent further tragedies.
In many cases, the drug was made even more dangerous by the presence of added narcotics such as morphine and fentanyl, authorities said at a news conference last week in Bemidji.
The overdoses have occurred in a wide swath of the state, according to law enforcement: in Hibbing, Virginia, Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Cass Lake, Moorhead, Dilworth, Marble, Beltrami County and Mille Lacs County.
Along with the cases that proved fatal, more than a dozen other people have been hospitalized for heroin overdoses in that time frame.
The number of Minnesotans seeking treatment for heroin addiction has risen since 2007, from 1,850 that year to 5,142 in 2013, according to statistics from the state Department of Human Services.
Heroin seizures statewide are up 125 percent since 2011, according to the state Department of Public Safety.