The Community Overdose Action Team (COAT) is alerting the public to a recent spike in overdose deaths in Montgomery County. From July 1 - 10 there have been 10 suspected overdose deaths, a much larger number than usual. By comparison, in June there were a total of 18 overdose deaths.
“Anyone using drugs should be aware that if they buy drugs on the street, there is a high likelihood that those drugs, including cocaine, may be laced with fentanyl or other fatal chemicals,” said Dr. Kent Harshbarger, Montgomery County Coroner.
Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also used for abuse. Fentanyl is added to other drugs of abuse to increase its potency, or is disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin or other drugs and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths.
While there is no safe way to use illegal drugs, it is important that drug users, their friends and family, and the public are aware of steps they can take to help reduce the risk of death.
Safety recommendations for people who use drugs:
- Call Samaritan Crisis Care 24/7 at 224-4646 for crisis, treatment and referral.
- Have Narcan available, and someone who can administer it, in case of an overdose.
- Do not use drugs containing fentanyl.
- Do not use drugs alone.
- Do not share needles.
- In the event of an overdose, call 911 immediately.
And finally, here are some resources available that the public can use to help prevent overdose deaths.
- Attend Naloxone/Narcan training. Project Dawn Montgomery County offers FREE weekly naloxone overdose education & distribution every Wednesday at Noon at 601 Edwin C. Moses Blvd, Door F, CrisisCare entrance in Dayton. (Please arrive 15 minutes early to register). Project Dawn will also schedule training during evenings and weekends by the request of businesses, faith-based organizations, service groups, and other community groups. Please call 937.734.8333 to schedule a group training.
- Be knowledgeable about local treatment options. Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) maintains a list of local addiction and mental health treatment options on a free smart phone app GetHelpNowMontgomeryCounty, as well as online screening tools at http://www.mcadamhs.org under the “Treatment & Support” tab.
- Sign up for Know! E-Alerts. Know! Parent Tips, part of Ohio’s “Start Talking! Building a Drug-Free Future” campaign, provides twice-monthly emails for parents, guardians and caregivers with tips that contain current facts about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, as well as action steps they can take to help children resist peer pressure. http://starttalking.ohio.gov/Prevention/KNOW.aspx
- Complete a Mental Health First Aid course. This 8-hour course will equip you on how to start a conversation with a family member, friend or co-worker when you recognize they may be experiencing mental health or substance use crisis. To attend a local course contact ADAMHS at 937-443-0416.
- Visit CarePoint. CarePoint consists of various services to help those who inject drugs reduce the chances they will do additional harm to themselves and others. The program includes the exchange of used syringes for clean ones, and referrals for substance abuse treatment and other health and social services. Call Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County at 973-496-7133 for more information.