Fentanyl added to street drugs causing more overdoses, health officials say

ajc.com

Credit: Patrick Semansky

An increase this week in drug overdoses in the Dayton area, including four fatalities in a five-day span, is concerning local health officials.

The Community Overdose Action Team warned anyone who buys illegal drugs on the street “that there is a high likelihood the drugs purchased may be laced with fentanyl or other potentially fatal chemicals,” according to a release issued Thursday by COAT’s lead agencies: Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County and Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services.

ExploreKey COVID metric tied to mask mandate decreases for third straight week

Also, the high levels of fentanyl mixed with other drugs may require more than one dose of Narcan to reverse the effects to save those who overdose.

“The Dayton Police Department is continuing to respond to both fatal and nonfatal overdoses, with an alarming increase occurring in the area of West Dayton, where various drugs such as cocaine, heroin and pressed pills are being spiked with fentanyl to increase their potency. A person may believe they are purchasing cocaine or a pill, but in all actuality are receiving a lethal dose of fentanyl,” said Dayton police Maj. Brian Johns.

Anyone who is struggling with addition should seek treatment and recovery services, he said.

“Additionally, if you or someone you care about uses these drugs we ask that you take advantage of such life-saving programs as naloxone kits and fentanyl test strips that are available, free of charge,” Johns said.

7 safety recommendations for people who use drugs:

  1. Have Narcan available, and someone who can administer it, in case of an overdose. Call 937-734-9468 to get a kit.
  2. Do not use drugs that contain or may contain fentanyl.
  3. Do not use drugs alone.
  4. Do not share needles.
  5. In the event of an overdose, call 911 immediately.
  6. For those experiencing addiction and in need of immediate care, call OneFifteen’s Crisis Stabilization Unit at 937-535-5115.
  7. Call Samaritan Crisis Care 24/7 at 937-224-4646 for crisis intervention services.