September 24, 2020

Oneida County Overdose Response Team Issues Overdose Spike Alert

News Photo

6 Overdoses Reported Between Sept. 22 & 23; 4 Fatalities in Less Than a Month

The Oneida County Overdose Response Team (ORT) has received an Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) spike alert notification triggered by six suspected heroin- and fentanyl-related overdoses between September 22 and 23, 2020.

Four fatal overdoses also occurred between August 17 and September 11, 2020. Seventeen total overdoses (including the fatalities) occurred during that time frame.

An ODMAP spike alert is triggered by four overdoses within a 24-hour period.

“While the number of weekly overdoses captured in our surveillance has been lower than usual the last few weeks, this recent spike and cluster of fatalities indicates a potential upward trend that we want to avert as quickly as possible,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “In addition, confidential reports of dangerous drug trends being monitored in the region warrant concern, and highlight the need for those that use drugs, their family and friends and our network of partners that provide treatment and support services to apply life-saving harm reduction practices and to be on high alert.”

The ORT continues to see the current and dangerous trend in which drugs are mixed with toxic substances or other drugs that that the user was not aware of. This contamination puts people at greater risk not only for fatal overdose, but also results in other health risks including severe skin lesions and abscesses. Harm reduction resources such as syringe exchange programs, Narcan and other services that can teach people to manage behaviors to lessen the harmful effects associated with drug use and link them to treatment, recovery and other basic support services.

Oneida County Opioid Task Force members are being encouraged to proactively review and initiate targeted response activities that make it as easy as possible for those needing assistance to access to life-saving treatment and support services. The Overdose Response Team routinely deploys peer recovery specialists to reach out to overdose victims and is also coordinating general outreach to targeted high-risk areas in the community in response to the spike.

Narcan is available at various local pharmacies throughout the county – the public is encouraged to dial 211 or text to 898-211 to receive assistance in finding a Narcan provider near them, along with information regarding local treatment and recovery services.

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.

The Oneida County Overdose Response Team is a subgroup of Oneida County Opioid Task Force. The team was established to address the drug 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