12 Overdose Deaths This Month In Erie County Blamed On Cocaine And Fentanyl
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn is warning residents that a deadly mix of cocaine and fentanyl is killing people. As of today, May 26, 2022, there have been 42 opioid overdoses in Erie County this year. Fentanyl, a highly concentrated pain-killer, which can be deadly in small amounts, is responsible for over a quarter of the deaths (of the toxicology reports received so far),
While toxicology reports can take several weeks, 12 of the reported overdose deaths since mid-May are suspected to involve the use of cocaine mixed with fentanyl.
Erie County is responding to the overdose deaths by making Narcan and harm reduction materials available in bars and other Erie County businesses. Fentanyl test strips and Narcah are available to the public.
Don't trust your cocaine
The Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein warns cocaine users,
The main message that we want to share is that we need to keep people alive. As we see all too often with opioid overdose deaths, cocaine and fentanyl are a deadly combination. People should never use any drug alone and always have Narcan on hand just in case of an overdose.
Fentanyl has been in the spotlight a lot lately, as it has caused many fatal overdoes. It is frequently used to cut other drugs. Unsuspecting users don't realize that their lives are in danger.
Erie County Opiate Epidemic Task Force Director Cheryll Moore said,
To have overdose scenes where a person, or multiple people, die when a dose of Narcan could have saved their lives – these are heartbreaking situations. Families and loved ones live with that pain, but we continue to transform that pain into progress with our task force activities.
If you or someone you know is a user, you can 'Text for Narcan.' Text (716) 225-5473 to get free Narcan mailed to you. The county also recommends that you use fentanyl test strips on any drug before consuming it. The Buffalo & Erie County Addiction Hotline number is 716-831-7007.