The Oneida County Overdose Response Team has issued an overdose spike alert regarding nine overdoses that occurred in the cities of Utica and Rome this past weekend, one of which was fatal.
The overdoses occurred between August 11 and August 13, 2023, with seven happening in Utica and two in Rome. The fatality took place on August 13th in Utica.
Heroin and methamphetamine, along with other drugs yet to be identified, are suspected in these overdoses. Officials believe that the presence of fentanyl was also a factor. In the case of the fatality, the drug used is unknown at this time.
Naloxone was administered by bystanders and first responders in all of the non-fatal incidents, which reversed the effects of the overdoses.
In addition to these nine overdoses, there have been five other overdoses in the month of August. Those incidents also took place in Utica and Rome and naloxone was administered in each.
The Overdose Response Team conducts a rapid assessment to identify factors that may be contributing to overdose spikes. Individuals using all drugs should take the same harm reduction precautions as those using opioids such as carrying naloxone, fentanyl test strips and never using alone.
People who use drugs and their loved ones can access treatment and recovery services by calling 211. Free Narcan-by-Mail is available through the Oneida County Health Department by visiting https://www.ocopioidtaskforce.org. Free, anonymous 24/7 access to naloxone, fentanyl test strips and other wellness supplies are also available at the new Public Health Kiosk located at the Giotto Center at 1002 Oswego Street in Utica. The Never Use Alone Hotline can be reached at 1-800-484-3731.