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Drug Overdose Reports Spike In Hamilton Co.; Alert Issued

Posted On March 20, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

(Hamilton County, Oh.) – Hamilton County Public Health officials say there has been a spike in overdoses in Greater Cincinnati.

After issuing an alert about increased overdoses on Friday, the county’s daily overdose surveillance report indicated a continued spike in activity. Emergency room visits and 911 calls for overdoses remained more than double the previous week’s average.

As of 1:00 a.m. Saturday, there were a total of 36 drug-related emergency room visits among Hamilton County residents during the previous 24-hour period.

“Local public health partners and the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition are updating the alert issued on March 17 to continue to facilitate increased community awareness and advise first responders, healthcare providers, and substance users and their families of the increased risk for overdose in our community,” a notice from Hamilton County Public Health stated.

What’s the cause? Health officials aren’t sure, but they suspect a change in the composition of illicit street drugs. In previous overdose spikes, heroin has been laced with even more dangerous substances such as fentanyl, carfentanil, and other synthetics.

Drug users are advised to avoid using street drugs alone.

The synthetics are dangerous not only to victims, but to first responders. Police, firefighters, and EMTs are being advised to use necessary personal protective equipment when responding to overdoses, as well as carrying an ample supply of overdose-counteracting drug Naloxone.

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