Two recovery counselors found dead of apparent OD

The nightstand of one of the two overdoese victims, including apparent baggies of heroin.

Two recovery counselors at a West Brandywine addiction recovery group home were found unresponsive and ultimately died from an apparent overdose of heroin and fentanyl, Sunday.

“If anybody is wondering how bad the opioid epidemic has become, this case is a frightening example,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said. “The staff members in charge of supervising recovering addicts succumbed to their own addiction and died of opioid overdoses. Opioids are a monster that is slowly consuming our population.”

Emergency responders were called to the facility, Freedom Recovery, located in a home at about 2:15 p.m. after residents found both counselors in separate bedrooms unresponsive. The residents attempted to revive one of them with a nasal injection naloxone, but were unsuccessful and then called emergency personnel.

Both counselors — who were not identified by authorities — were pronounced dead at the scene. In the bedrooms of both counselors, the police located used needles and heroin baggies near their bodies. The baggies were stamped with a Supermanlogo and “Danger /Skull & Crossboneslogo. Preliminary toxicology tests for each of the deceased were positive for heroin and fentanyl.

The facility is a private residence that is used as a group home or halfway house for individuals struggling with addiction. Two people worked and lived at the home as on-site counselors. Six men resided at the halfway house as part of their recovery. The counselors’ duties included establishing daily activities for the residents and keeping appropriate medications for the residents under lock-and-key.

These deaths are tragic examples of the impact that the heroin and opioid epidemic continues to have on our communities,” Vince Brown, Director of the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol, said. “Nobody is immune. But it is important to know that help is available and that recovery, from any addiction, is possible and happens every day.”

Hogan warned that people should stay away from and not even touch the two types of heroin baggies found at the scene.

Anybody who sees baggies in the area with the Superman or Danger logo must be warned to stay away from those drugs,” Hogan said. “They appear to be heroin laced with fentanyl and are likely to kill anybody who uses them. We will not even let law enforcement handle them without special precautions because of the extreme danger of death or injury.

This case is being investigated by the Chester County Detectives and West Brandywine Police Department. Anyone with additional information should contact Chester County Detective Ben Martin at 610-344-6866.

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