September 12, 2019

Oneida County Overdose Response Team Issues Overdose Alert

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The Oneida County Overdose Response Team has received an Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) Spike Alert Notification of four overdoses believed to be from heroin that resulted in one fatality in the past 24 hours. Three of the four overdose victims had suffered previous overdoses in the past seven months. Since September 1, there have been 16 overdoses, 10 of which are believed to be from heroin.

“Using ODMAP surveillance data to capture real-time reports of overdoses, the Overdose Response Team has developed a spike alert process, where when we see a certain number of overdoses in a certain time period, we know that there could be a public safety and health issue, so we mobilize to push out that information as quickly as possible,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.

While the spike could be due to a number of causes, such spikes are often related to tainted or potent heroin, including heroin laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is one of the strongest opioids available, so the likelihood of overdose from that kind of product is very high.

Fentanyl test strips are available by calling ACR Heath at 315-793-0661.

The Oneida County Overdose Response Team is calling on heroin users, their family members, friends and the public in general to help save lives by reaching out for help and paying attention to the behaviors of individuals around them and signs of overdose:

• Person is not responsive

Fingertips or lips turn blue or gray

• Breathing is slow, shallow or has stopped

• Person is gurgling or making snoring noises

Always call 911 in a life-threatening situation and do not leave the victim alone. As a reminder, the Good Samaritan Law states that anyone who in good faith seeks care for themselves or someone experiencing a life-threatening emergency will not be charged or prosecuted for a drug- or alcohol-related offense including possession of drug paraphernalia, with some exceptions.

Family and friends of persons at risk of a drug overdose or those using opioids should carry Narcan (Naloxone). Narcan is a life-saving medication that, if administered during an opioid overdose can potentially save the life of the individual. Narcan is available at various local pharmacies throughout the county – the public is encouraged to dial 2-1-1 to receive assistance in finding Narcan trainings near them, along with information regarding medication drop off boxes and treatment and recovery services.

There is now a new text line if you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction you can text “opioid” to 898-211 for help.

The Oneida County Overdose Response Team is a subgroup of the County’s Opiate/Heroin Task Force. The team was established to address the opioid/heroin overdose crisis in Oneida County. The goals of the team are to use ODMAP surveillance data to reduce the number of overdoses and fatalities.

Oneida County Partners