Two men pass out in Lytton Plaza after taking opioids

Palo Alto Firefighter Paramedics attend to a man who had fallen ill after taking opioids. Photo by Jean Paul Coupal.

Daily Post Staff Writer

Two men passed out at the same time at Lytton Plaza after taking opioids, and police officers and firefighters managed to revive them with CPR and Narcan, a medicine used to reverse overdoses, Fire Chief Geo Blackshire said.

The first call came in at 4:41 p.m. on Thursday (June 1) at the plaza at University Avenue and Emerson Street next to Pizza My Heart. A man in his 30s was passed out on the ground, and a bystander was performing CPR on him, police said.

As firefighters arrived, a witness pointed out a man in his 40s who was also unconscious and not breathing in a car parked next to the West Elm furniture store.

More paramedics were called in to try to revive the second man, who knew the man on the plaza, police Lt. Con Maloney said.

The first man was unconscious for about 10 minutes, Blackshire said. Nobody saw the second main faint, so paramedics don’t know how long he was out. He regained consciousness roughly six minutes after getting a dose of Narcan and CPR, Blackshire said.

Both men were both taken to the Stanford Hospital and were communicating during the ride, Blackshire said.

Police haven’t said yet what drug the men took.

Jean Paul Coupal, who helped start the Downtown Streets Team, was at Lytton Plaza during the event, along with mothers and children, he said.

“Kids shouldn’t witness this type of thing,” Coupal said in an interview Friday.

During the chaos, a homeless man asked a police officer for Narcan and then ran off to administer it to a third man who was also overdosing, Coupal said.

‘Drug haven’

Coupal said he has been walking around downtown Palo Alto for 25 years, and Lytton Plaza has become a “drug haven” within the last six months.

Drug users know they can buy what they want there, and new people are coming in because of how easy it is, Coupal said.

“We’re losing a wonderful space,” he said.

Coupal commended the life-saving efforts of police officers, and he said they should do more undercover stings in the area.


  1. That’s always been a place where you can buy drugs. Only a fool would think it could be cleaned up. The cops will leave you alone and the parking is easy.

  2. This isn’t a revelation, downtown is drifting to a slum controlled by the homeless and their enablers. The only reason this is “news” is that two bums OD’d at the same time. Can somebody flush the toilet?

  3. The problem is in part due to a relatively safer drug like OxyContin being taken off the market and now people with pain turning to the streets to buy painkillers like fentanyl or stronger that is more potent and addictive, and less safe.

    • You missed the crucial word “relatively” in the paragraph above. Let me rephrase. Oxycontin is much less harmful than fentanyl (or other painkillers) bought from drug dealers on the street.

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