An overdose spike alert has been triggered in Oneida County after four people died and 18 overdosed on either heroin, cocaine or fentanyl in a five-day period.
According to the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program used by the county, all of the incidents happened from Dec. 30, 2020 to Jan. 3, and four of the overdoses were reported in a 24-hour period.
“This spike in overdoses and fatalities is of great concern as we continue to simultaneously combat the COVD-19 pandemic,” said Oneida County Executive, Anthony J. Picente Jr. “To say that the past 10 months have been difficult is an understatement, and this is especially true for those struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. We must continue to remain diligent and on high alert over the next several months, and do all that we can to prevent additional overdose and death within our community.”
According to the Oneida County Overdose Response Team, there has been an unusual increase in cocaine overdoses, with 13 reported since the beginning of December 2020.
Naloxone, which reverses opioid overdoses, was successfully used in 11 of the 13 cases, which the team says indicates the cocaine was likely mixed with heroin or fentanyl.
Naloxone is available at local pharmacies and other organizations, or by calling 211 or texting 898-211. Fentanyl test strips are also available for free by calling ACR Health at 315-793-0661.