High rate of opioid overdoses keeps Red Alert in place for second week in a row

News 10 –

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — A suspected deadly batch of heroin is circulating in Jackson County causing the Jackson County Health Department to extend a red alert which has been in place since Dec 15.

The department reported that emergency department admissions, law enforcement, and emergency support services, as well as the deployment of Narcan, have seen an increase over the last two weeks.

“We want people to be aware that we’re seeing an increase in overdoses, that we do suspect we either have a stronger batch of heroin circulating in our community or the possibility that it’s laced with something like fentanyl,” Tanya Phillips, Health Promotion Manager of Jackson County Public Health said.

Though there was a suspected death reported on Dec 20, the department said there are no additional suspect fatalities from illicit opioids at this time.

Within the two week span, the emergency rooms in the county have experienced 18 visits caused by overdose. This represents a large spike when compared to the average of 2 visits per week according to Tanya Phillips with Jackson County Health Department.

Medford, Central point and talent police departments have reported 11 deployments of Naloxone while other departments such as Ashland Police and the Jackson County Sheriff’s office have yet to report data.

As heroin use us already known to be deadly and addictive, Phillips is urging users not to use, especially during this period of time.

“Our number one message being if you don’t have to use it, don’t use it,” she said.

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