SNF resident charged for selling heroin to fellow resident who overdosed

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A resident of a New Jersey skilled nursing facility allegedly sold a fellow resident heroin that led to an overdose, according to local authorities.

Police were called to Manahawkin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Stafford Township, NJ, last Friday in response to a resident who had overdosed on heroin. She was given several doses of Narcan, a drug used to treat overdoses, and transported to a local hospital, authorities said.

During their investigation into the overdose authorities learned that the drug had been provided by a another resident, Walter Gibbs. Police searched Gibbs' room and discovered 20 envelopes containing a substance suspected to be heroin. Gibbs was arrested and charged on Saturday with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, as well as possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute.

Gibbs also had “several outstanding warrants” from Atlantic City, NJ, authorities said.

An employee who answered the phone number listed on Manahawkin's Facebook page denied the incident had occurred and declined to comment further.

Abuse of opioids, ranging from prescription medications to illegal drugs such as heroin, has become a growing issue across the country. Providers are under increased scrutiny to follow drug labels,offer training and carefully prescribe pain medications.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Thursday released their take on the opioid epidemic, with a blog post penned by Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., director of the Center for Program Integrity, as well as Kate Goodrich, M.D., director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality.

“CMS wants beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to know what opioids are, the risk associated with their use and the role opioids may play in pain management,” the post reads. “CMS is raising awareness of current guidelines for appropriate prescribing so providers offer each beneficiary the safest and most effective combination of treatments for their pain.”