Investigators say nearly 50 people overdosed on heroin Thursday alone. It could possibly be related to a bad batch of the drug, according to investigative sources.
FOX 29's Dave Kinchen shares one man's story of recovery.
It's been a long journey back to good health for Jimmy Hammer, of Northeast Philadelphia, now living in the MVP Recovery community in Delaware County.
"I pretty much gave up all my morals; did things that I never thought I would do," he told FOX 29.
After years of using heroin with numerous overdoses, the 24-year-old says Narcan brought him back at least four times.
"You get revived and it's really abrupt. You wake up. You are cold throughout your whole body. You go into like an instant withdrawal feeling," he explained.
The same Kensington Streets known as a superstore for heroin is littered with baggies all over. And it's the same area believed to be linked to nearly 50 overdoses Thursday night possibly connected to bad batch of heroin, according to sources.
"People they want to make money and they don't care who it hurts. They are cutting the drugs with all sorts of different things," said Jimmy.
His recovery comes as he processes the first report on addiction ever released by the US Surgeon General saying 1 in 7 Americans will face substance addiction.
Shocking to you perhaps but as much to Jimmy.
"When I grew up just about everybody I knew was using some type of opioids," he said.
It makes him more thankful for his recovery which he says other addicts can have too.
"'My clean time is an example for other people that it's possible."
Philadelphia police released the following statement late Friday night:
"Within the past twenty-four hours, Philadelphia has experienced an increase in 911 calls for drug related hospital cases. There have been over one hundred calls received by Police; however, the number of calls alone does not necessarily mean that the calls are founded assignments or different incidents. Meaning, 911 can receive multiple calls for one individual incident and an incident isn't founded until an officer arrives and determines that the incident actually occurred. The increase has occurred in more than one division within the city which is a concern for us. Therefore, we are currently investigating the nature of these calls, as well as the factors relating to the increase for medical attention.
Our Investigations Bureau along with our Narcotics Bureau are investigating these calls, as well as any sudden deaths which have occurred over the past twenty-four hours, to determine if any of the incidents are connected. Our department will continue to work with several other City, State, and Federal agencies in efforts to address and resolve this issue.
At this time, no determination has been made regarding specific locations, types of narcotics/substance, or other factors surrounding these calls or incidents. The Philadelphia Police Department will continue to aggressively investigate this matter through a myriad of techniques; furthermore, the Patrol and Narcotics Bureaus will continue intense narcotics enforcement within the city to reduce the sales and distribution of illegal narcotics.
We will provide updated information to the citizens of Philadelphia as this process continues and make notifications of any arrests or incidents pertaining to these investigations."