There is an increase in opioid related deaths in Central New York and the Tompkins County Health Department is alerting the community.
Currently, there have been 12 reported drug-related deaths in Tompkins County as of June of this year.
In 2020, there 19 deaths reported due to drug overdose, and in 2021 it increased to 25 total overdose deaths.
“Multiple factors affect the rate of overdose in our community, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in 2020 and the presence of fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic substance that is added into illicit street drugs to increase consumption and is highly associated with risk of overdose death. Risk of overdose is increased when fentanyl is mixed in with other substances, an issue that is increasingly found with the purchase of illicit street drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, crystal methamphetamine and illicitly manufactured pills, including benzodiazepines and other psychostimulants like Molly and MDMA.” The Tompkins County Health Department in a press release.
So far for this year, 25 overdose calls have been reported, last year there were 67 calls in total.
The health department has provided strategies to prevent overdose:
- Never Use Alone
- Use fentanyl testing strips as a precaution
- Carry Narcan and be trained to use
- Seek treatment and support
- Create an overdose prevention plan
- Always dial 911 in the event of a medical emergency.
For Cortland County, the Healing Hearts Collaborative & 607 Parent Grief Group provides Narcan training and how/where to get Narcan.
More information can be found at HealingCortland.org