Fatal overdoses are down so far this year in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 November 2019 at 9:26 am

The number of people who have overdosed on drugs and died from an overdose is down in Orleans County so far in 2019, compared to 2018.

So far this year there have been 37 drug overdoses in the county, with six people dying from an overdose. That compares to 55 overdoses and 10 fatalities in 2018, according to Joe Sacco, the supervising investigative officer for the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force.

The overdoses are entered into an opiate mapping system used by local law enforcement the past three years.

In 2017, there were 42 overdoses and seven fatalities.

“The stats reflect opiate-related overdoses that are considered accidental due to heroin and fentanyl and a combination of other drugs or straight up fentanyl,” Sacco said.

He thinks the increased availability of Narcan has helped bring down the numbers. In some cases, people have an overdose and are revived, and 911 might not be called. In some of those cases, the overdose is not reported, Sacco said.

GCASA and Orleans Recovery Hope have been pushing Narcan training for community members. Narcan or Naloxone is a drug that temporarily blocks the opiate from acting on the body and allows enough time for more advanced medical treatment.

Narcan is safe and will not cause harm if it is administered to someone suffering from an overdose of a non-opiate or other medical condition.

(Editor’s Note: Medina Memorial Hospital said it has Narcan available 24-7 in its emergency room.)

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