Jackson County sees spike in fatal fentanyl overdoses

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore.– Jackson County Public Health is issuing an overdose alert.

It’s for accidental overdoses, related to illicit opioids, specifically fentanyl.

The alert is being issued after an increase of fatal overdoses and law enforcement responses to those overdoses.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said its responded to 10 fatal overdoses in the last five days.

JCSO suspects nine of those overdoses were due to fentanyl.

Jackson County Public Health is warning street drug supply is unpredictable and inconsistent and people should assume there is a risk of overdosing, no matter what drug is used.

Tanya Phillips from Jackson County Public Health said, “so far this year we’re averaging about two fatal overdoses (per week) that we suspect to be from opioids like fentanyl and then that week we had six.”

Phillips said even though fentanyl testing strips are available, they aren’t always reliable.

She said using them to test certain drugs like meth or MDMA can yield false positives.

JCSO said the county had 33 overdose deaths so far this year, with 30 of them containing fentanyl.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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