Two Pennsylvania drug counselors, who had been charged with helping addicts, instead succumbed to their own addictions when they fatally overdosed on opioids at a recovery center.
The facility, Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge, is an unlicensed recovery home in West Brandywine Township. The counselors, who have not been identified beyond their ages, 24 and 33, died Sunday after taking a toxic cocktail of heroin and fentanyl, according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.
“They were found by the other residents,” Hogan told NBC News on Thursday. “They came over to get their programming and medication and found the bodies.”
Baggies stamped with “Danger” and a skull-and-crossbones logo were found along with needles and other drug paraphernalia on the desk of one of the counselors, according to Hogan. Other baggies filled with a white powder featured a Superman logo.
“Opioids are a monster that is slowly consuming our population,” Hogan said in a press release.
The opioid epidemic has spread across the United States in recent years. In Ohio, a coroner has had to rent extra room for corpses because of the rise in fatal drug overdoses. President Donald Trump’s recently proposed budget cuts have been criticized for seeming to ignore the epidemic.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf told state lawmakers in September that Pennsylvania faces a “public health crisis the likes of which we have not before seen.”
Sunday’s case is still under investigation, according to the West Brandywine Police Department.
“If anybody is wondering how bad the opioid epidemic has become, this case is a frightening example,” Hogan said.