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Truck Driver Jack-Knifes, Closes Highway After Heroin Overdose

A man injects himself with heroin using a needle obtained from the People's Harm Reduction Alliance, the nation's largest needle-exchange program, in Seattle, Washington April 30, 2015. The People's Harm Reduction Alliance launched its free meth pipe program, which is pioneering but illegal, in March after learning from its own survey that 80 percent of area meth users would be less likely to inject drugs if given access to pipes. The theory behind the Alliance's handout program is that giving meth pipes to drug users may steer some away from needles, which are far riskier than smoking, especially if the user is sharing with another person infected with HIV or hepatitis C. There is little scientific evidence to support that claim, but the Alliance, a privately funded needle-swap group run by drug users, said it has distributed more than 1,000 pipes in Seattle in a matter of weeks and could expand to other cities in Washington state and Oregon. Opponents say giving away meth pipes discourages quitting while wasting resources on an untested scheme that will not solve a city-wide health problem. Picture taken April 30, 2015. REUTERS/David Ryder

A truck driver shooting up heroin behind the wheel shut down an interstate in Ohio Friday after overdosing on the drug and crashing.

Scotty Kinmon, the 28-year-old driver of the semi-truck, passed out while driving west on Interstate-74 after using an unknown amount of heroin. The truck drifted across the lanes of the highway before jack-knifing and hitting a guard rail, blocking off the interstate, reports WKRC.

The incident did not result in damage or injury to anyone else on the roadway. Drivers managed to pull Kinmon from the truck and perform CPR until first responders arrived and revived him with a dose of the overdose reversal drug Narcan.

Kinmon faces a number of charges, including operation of a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance. Records show Kinmon already had a warrant out for his arrest stemming from a heroin overdose in the truck on July 24.

The incident is becoming a familiar one for law enforcement and first responders in Ohio, particularly around Cleveland and Cincinnati. A couple using heroin behind the wheel of their vehicle forced officials to shut down Interstate-75 outside Cincinnati July 15 after colliding into a semi-truck.

Officials in the region attribute the climb in heroin related accidents to the worsening opioid epidemic gripping the state. Police say that, in many circumstances, addicts will shoot up wherever they are when they buy their drugs, which many times is in a vehicle.

“It’s a continuous circle to keep the drug in your system, and these people go to any length to get it,” Sergeant Michael Hudepohl with the Cincinnati Police Department, told FOX 19. “They get in their car, they use it, they OD, they crash and then we get involved.”

The national opioid epidemic is particularly hitting Ohio hard and claimed a record 33,000 lives in the U.S. in 2015. The opioid death rate in the state spiked 13 percent between 2014 and 2015, among the largest increases in the country. Heroin deaths increased by nearly 20 percent over the same period, claiming 1,444 lives.

Researchers from Columbia University in New York City recently investigated more than two decades of data federal traffic data and found the opioid scourge is behind a 700 percent increase in traffic deaths.

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