ROCKLAND — Rockland Police and emergency medical services responded Saturday morning, Dec. 4 to a report of multiple people overdosing.

The overdoses came after several individuals ingested what they believed to be cocaine, Rockland police said. Two overdosed, and a third person was taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport for unspecified reasons. The incident occurred on Summer Street.

Police and EMS responded quickly at about 11 a.m. and administered Narcarn. Due to the timely call from a concerned citizen, along with the life saving skills of the Rockland Fire/EMS, all three survived, police said.

“Rockland Police want to remind everyone of the dangers of using illicit substances,” police stated. “Citizen are encouraged to call 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect you or someone else is experiencing a drug related overdose. As a harm reduction effort, there are laws to protect individuals from criminal charges in many cases when law enforcement respond to help with a suspected overdose.

“Please don’t wait to call. The quick administration of Narcan and medical intervention often means the difference between life and death. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use please reach out. More information is available by calling 211, or by visiting 211maine.org.”

Last year, 504 Mainers died from drug overdoses, a 33 percent increase from 2019. The increased use of fentanyl is behind the dramatic spike. Numbers were also increasing for 2021. The impact from the pandemic is also considered a driving force in the increase as people became more isolated.