MPD: 13 suspected overdose deaths in March, most ever recorded in a month

MEDFORD, Ore. – Medford police said it saw a staggering 13 suspected overdose deaths within the city in March alone.

They said it’s the most overdose deaths in a month that MPD has ever recorded.

Overdoses incidents have been an issue this month too.

During the first week of April, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department confirmed it saw eight overdoses in the county jail.

That same week, Providence reported seeing a sharp increase in the number of people coming into the hospital due to fentanyl overdoses.

Their emergency department saw six overdose patients, one of them died.

MPD said the number of deaths this year is very concerning.

“We’re up to 22 for the year in 2023,” MPD spokesperson Rebecca Pietila said. “That’s concerning. And we want to use this as a cautionary tale for users for folks who are experimenting with drugs that now is not the time to do so, nor is there a time.”

We told you last month about the dangerous combination of a non-opiate drug called Xylazine being laced in fentanyl.

MPD said in the last few months it’s shown up here locally.

But it’s too early to know if these deaths are related to Xylazine being more present.

MPD says having Narcan or Naloxone on hand can be live-saving to help those who May have overdosed.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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