Hamilton County Pubic Health (HCPH) is warning residents about an uptick in drug overdoses related to fentanyl.
HCPH and the Hamilton County Addition Response Coalition sent out an alert on Oct. 6 saying the number of overdoses since Sept. 30 indicate "some abnormal changes in overdose related activity causing suspicion for high levels of fentanyl in the drug supply."
The county agency reports there were 16 overdose deaths between Sept. 30 and Oct. 5. More than a dozen others were admitted to emergency departments for overdoses on Oct. 4 and 5 alone.
"FENTANYL MAY BE IN YOUR DRUG SUPPLY!" the Oct. 6 alert reads. "Drugs such as cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine likely contain fentanyl, the drug that can cause overdose and death. A high supply of fentanyl puts all users at risk. WE HAVE SEEN MULTIPLE DEATHS IN PEOPLE USING DRUGS OTHER THAN OPIOIDS."
Hamilton County may not be the only region experiencing a spike in overdose risk. Data for 2022 is still rolling in, but Harm Reduction Ohio reports Butler County is No. 15 in the state for counties with the highest drug overdose rate this year.
How to protect yourself from an overdoseHCPH offers harm reduction supplies through its website, including Narcan and strips to test your drugs for fentanyl. Narcan is a brand name of naloxone, a medication used to treat opioid emergencies.
Harm Reduction Ohio also supplies fentanyl test strips and Narcan for free. Those interested in ordering supplies must watch a training video on using Narcan, which advocates say is harmless even in the event someone is not actually overdosing. You also can call HCPH for harm reduction supplies at 513-316-7725.