PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT: RENSSELAER COUNTY SEEING SPIKE IN FATAL OVERDOSES AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS, AND RESIDENTS IN ALL AREAS OF COUNTY ARE URGED TO BE CAUTIOUS
The Rensselaer County Health Department has issued a health alert regarding a spike in fatal overdoses in the county since Thursday. The drugs involved are believed to be cocaine and fentanyl.
While autopsy results are pending, there is believed to have been as many as five fatal overdoses this weekend in the county. In addition, there have been at least 12 non-fatal overdoses in the county since Thursday, health officials said.
To date, the county has seen 41 fatal overdoses in 2023. The county saw 45 fatal overdoses in 2022, and a record high of 58 in 2021.
“This is extremely concerning, and residents in Rensselaer County and surrounding areas should be aware there are very dangerous drugs circulating right now,” said Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas.
“To have five fatal overdoses and 12 non-fatal overdoses in just over 72 hours in a county the size of Rensselaer County shows there is real reason for caution by residents. We would urge everyone to view this as a serious and life-threatening situation,” added Wachunas.
“We have determined these deaths are overdoses based on information and evidence made available. Autopsies are continuing, but the information now present indicates these overdoses are because of a combination of cocaine and fentanyl,” she continued.
“Residents should be aware there are resources available for those struggling with addiction, and to help counteract the effects of an overdose. Call our Helpline at 833-467-3123 to start a path to recovery. The county also makes Narcan available, which is helpful in counteracting opiate overdoses, on a free and no questions asked basis,” concluded Wachunas.
The overdoses occurred in the north, central and southern sections of the county, showing all areas of the county are at risk.