Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityLane County sees 21 heroin overdoses in 3 days, triple the average number | KVAL
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Lane County sees 21 heroin overdoses in 3 days, triple the average number

{p}Many law enforcement officers now carry the anti-overdose drug Narcan in case of emergency. (SBG){/p}

Many law enforcement officers now carry the anti-overdose drug Narcan in case of emergency. (SBG)

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EUGENE, Ore. - Lane County saw 21 heroin-related overdoes in 3 days, Lane County Public Health said.

The average for the same period of time is 7, public health officials said.

Police suspect a batch of heroin cut with the drug fentanyl could be to blame.

Lane County Public Health urged the community to be aware of the situation.

The county offered the following suggestions:

Be Prepared: Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is a crucial, overdose-reversing and life-saving drug. For patients currently taking high doses of prescribed opioids, individuals using illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, family and friends of people who have an opioid use disorder, and community members who come into contact with people at risk for opioid overdose, knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life.

If you administer naloxone, the effects are temporary and the person still needs medical attention. After the medication wears off, the person could rapidly return to a life threatening condition. If you call the police or 911 to get help for someone having a drug overdose, Oregon’s Good Samaritan Law protects you from being arrested or prosecuted for drug-related charges or parole/probation violations based on information provided to emergency responders.

Never Use Alone: While using alone isn’t necessarily a cause of an overdose, it can increase the chance of fatally overdosing because there is no one there to call for help or take care of you if you lose consciousness. If you’ve entrusted someone with naloxone, make sure they know when you are using opioids. Develop an overdose plan with your friends or partners, leave the door unlocked or slightly ajar, call someone you trust and have them check on you.

Tolerance is Important: Tolerance develops over time, so the amount of drug a long-time user needs to feel the drug’s effect is typically much higher than a new user. For someone who has experienced a time without an opiate due to treatment or incarceration, a relapse can be fatal. If someone has relapsed, their tolerance will not be as high as it was previously, increasing their risk of overdose.

Be Aware of the Risk of Mixing Drugs: Drugs taken together can interact in ways that increase their overall effect. Many overdoses occur when people mix heroin or prescription opioids and/or alcohol with benzodiazepines such as Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax.

Content: The content and purity of street drugs is unpredictable. They are often “cut” with other drugs or materials and can be very dangerous.

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For more on opioid addiction and overdose, visit the Prevention Lane or Oregon Health Authority websites.

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