Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

WATERTOWN — Jefferson County has experienced at least four overdoses from drug use within the last 24 hours, according to a release from Jefferson County Public Health.

According to data submitted by first responders utilizing the Overdose Detection and Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) software system, the county has experienced 179 known overdoses from drug use in 2020 to date. Heroin and fentanyl are the suspected primary drugs, however other drugs or combinations of drugs are also causing these overdoses.

Per data submitted in the ODMAP system, overdose activity has steadily risen since March when there were 22 suspected overdoses reported, followed by 27 suspected overdoses reported in April, 32 suspected overdoses reported in May, and 35 suspected overdoses reported in June. Following the public warning issued June 22, suspected overdose activity reported in ODMAP declined to 21 suspected overdoses reported in July, and eight suspected overdoses reported in August to date. However, four of those eight reported in August occurred within the last 24 hours. It remains the case that individuals who are overdosing and surviving are requiring multiple doses of Naloxone, according to the release.

There have been 21 confirmed overdose deaths for 2020 in Jefferson County, which includes three in January, one in February, five in March, two in April, two in May, seven in June, and one in July. Nineteen, or 90 percent, of these confirmed deaths are due to opioids; 17 of these attributed specifically to the opioid fentanyl. An additional three suspected overdose fatalities are now pending toxicology report confirmation.

According to the release, individuals using drugs, including but not limited to marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, must understand that no drug is safe, and any drug could contain lethal amounts of fentanyl.

The Jefferson County Public Health Service, Jefferson County Department of Community Services, and the Alliance for Better Communities want to remind people that a number of community resources have been established and expanded to help people who have substance use disorders, and for people to access these resources to receive assistance and treatment:

- 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.

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.

Additional information regarding this situation will be forthcoming.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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