January 17, 2020

Oneida County Overdose Response Team Issues Overdose Spike 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 non-fatal overdoses believed to be from heroin in the past 24 hours. All four overdoses required multiple doses of Narcan.

“When we see a number of overdoses requiring multiple doses of Narcan, we need to put the community on alert because it may be an indicator of the presence of fentanyl or some other potentially lethal toxin,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.

Year to date, there have been 16 total overdose reports and no fatalities. ODMAP does not capture all overdoses occurring in the community, therefore anytime the Overdose Response Team surveillance efforts identifies a spike, it is a cause for concern because it represents a potential greater threat occurring in the community.

The Overdose Response Team reported that in 2019, the majority of the completed toxicology reports for fatalities captured in ODMAP showed the presence of fentanyl.

Many people using heroin are not aware that is laced with fentanyl, one of the strongest opioids available and associated with greater risk for overdose fatalities. People who use drugs should be aware that fentanyl test strips are available by calling ACR Health at 315-793-0661.

The Overdose Response Team encourages friends and family of people who use drugs and community response partners to be on alert and step up response actions to prevent a further increase in overdoses and potential fatalities. Some recommended actions include obtaining and/or increasing access to Narcan, being aware of the common signs of overdose, and/or expanding access to treatment and recovery services.

Some signs of overdose include:

• 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 never 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.

Dial 211 or a text “opioid” to 898-211 for help if you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder.

Oneida County Partners