There has been no break in the continual existence of drug overdoses in Scioto County. Late Monday afternoon, the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency issued a narcotic alert under the authority of the Portsmouth City Health Department.
“Scioto County continues to experience a wave of overdoses,” the alert said. “There is an extremely strong and dangerous batch of heroin that is most likely laced with animal tranquilizer in the county. It is causing very rapid respiratory depression and death and should be avoided at all costs. If you suspect an overdose call 911 immediately and stay with the person. Provide respiratory support and give Narcan if you have it. Overdose is a medical emergency and professional help is critical.”
It started two weekends ago and accumulated through that weekend and the week after that, as upwards of 50 overdoses were reported. Then that trend continued over this past weekend. Scioto County Emergency Management (EMA) Director Kim Carver said. “What happens generally, if there is a certain level of overdoses, we have a narcotic alert for the county, which we push out on social media and to the news media.”
One of the people on the front lines of the fight against illegal drug activity is Lisa Roberts, RN of the Portsmouth City Health Department.
“In the first week of April 2017, Scioto County saw as many overdoses as is usually seen in an average bad month,” Roberts told the Daily Times last week. “We received public health alerts from the state electronic surveillance system several days in a row, which has never happened before. They also had to use multiple doses of Narcan per victim. So this always means that a very potent batch of heroin that is laced with fentanyl or carfentanil has been brought into the county.”
Roberts said Ohio is ground zero for these drugs and the addition of fentanyl and carfentanil are the cause of the accidental fatal overdoses across the state.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.