Four overdoses reported in Jefferson County in 24 hours

Updated: Sep. 14, 2020 at 1:24 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson County Public Health officials say there has been another spate of drug overdoses in a short period of time.

Officials say there were four known overdoses in 24 hours. None of them, they say, were fatal.

This is the fourth time this year that Public Health has announced several overdoses in a 24-hour period. The first and second were in June and the third in August.

No drugs are safe, officials say, including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. Any drug could contain lethal amounts of fentanyl.

Public Health reports there have been 192 drug overdoses so far this year, including 22 that resulted in death.

Heroin and fentanyl are the suspected primary drugs in 75perdcent of the cases, but other drugs or combinations of drugs could also be to blame, officials say.

There were 18 overdoses in January, 16 in February, 22 in March, 27 in April, 32 in May, 35 in June, 21 in July, 14 in August, and seven in September so far, including the four that were reported Monday.

There were three confirmed overdose deaths in January, one in February, five in March, two in April, two in May, eight in June, and one in July.

Twenty of the confirmed deaths are due to opioids, 18 attributed specifically to fentanyl. Another suspected overdose death is awaiting a toxicology report for confirmation.

Jefferson County Public Health’s Steve Jennings says the county’s spike in ODs mirrors a national trend and the COVID-19 pandemic could be playing a part.

“People obviously are more isolated. They’re obviously more depressed. There’s greater mental health challenges. They’ve also had more money to spend with stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment. We’ve heard anecdotally that’s fed in to people buying drugs,” he said.

Here’s a list of community resources for people dealing with substance abuse problems:

- Anchor Recovery Center of NNY: (315) 836-3460

- Credo Community Center for Treatment of Addictions: (315) 788-1530

- ACR Health: (315) 785-8222

- Samaritan Addiction Services: (315) 779-5060

- Samaritan Medical Center - Social Worker on Call: (315) 785-4516

- Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

- Northern Regional Center for Independent Living: (315) 785-8703 business hours; and (315) 785-8708 nights and weekends.

- Mobile Crisis Jefferson County: (315) 782-2327 of (315) 777-9681

- Hope Line: 1-877-8-HOPENY or Text 46736

- To receive Naloxone training and free kits, contact Credo, ACR Health, or the Anchor Recovery Center of NNY

Officials remind the public is also reminded of New York State’s 911 Good Samaritan Law, which allows people to call 911 without fear of arrest due to drug possession if they are having a drug or alcohol overdose that requires emergency medical care or if they witness someone overdosing.

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