Eugene Police officers were kept busy responding to severe overdoses July 22 and into July 23. The overdoses were located throughout the city. Calls came in July 22 at 6:05 p.m., 6:22 p.m., 6:37 p.m., 7:35 p.m., and on July 23 at 12:49 a.m. and again at 8:35 p.m. The EPD officers who responded showed compassion and because of their training they saved their lives. The officers who responded administered Narcan and conducted chest compressions as needed until Eugene Springfield Fire could arrive. All victims survived and were either transported to a local hospital or refused treatment. Overdoses are not an uncommon occurrence, but six in a 26-hour period is unusual and alarming. It appears some of the users admitted to smoking powdered fentanyl.
According to Lane County Public Health and Eugene Police, our community is seeing an increase in street drugs containing fentanyl, a powerful, illicit opioid with high risk for overdose. We have seen fentanyl contamination in cheap, counterfeit pills sold as common medications such as oxycodone, Adderall, or Xanax. We also have reports of fentanyl being found in white or colored powdered drugs that might be sold as cocaine, MDMA, or methamphetamine. It should be assumed that any illicit drug could contain fentanyl.
For additional information on fentanyl see the fact sheet provided by the DEA. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Fentanyl-2020_0.pdf
Lane County Public Health warns against any pills not obtained from a pharmacy. They urge people who use illicit drugs to take precautions and to not use alone. They recommend anyone who uses drugs or knows someone who does, to carry Narcan (naloxone), an overdose reversal nasal spray. Individuals are able to test drugs for fentanyl with a fentanyl testing strip. It is also important to know the signs of an overdose and always call 911 immediately.
Narcan is available at any pharmacy upon request. State Law requires pharmacists provide it and many insurance plans cover it. You can also obtain free Narcan and a brief training from HIV Alliance’s Eugene location during drop-in hours (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10a-2p, Friday 1p-5p). https://hivalliance.org/contact/. Young adults can access Narcan by contacting CORE Eugene. https://coreeugene.org/