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Overdose Alert

Westminster, MD (February 11, 2019) – The Carroll County Health Department is alerting the community that per public health sources, there were multiple potential overdoses over the weekend in Carroll County.

For immediate medical assistance call 911.

This overdose spike could be due to a number of causes, but such spikes are often related to heroin or cocaine laced with fentanyl or carfentanil. Counterfeit pain and anxiety pills may also be laced with fentanyl. The pills are disguised to look like frequently-prescribed and commonly-abused medications such as Percocet, oxycodone, Xanax and others.

Fentanyl and carfentanil are synthetic opioids and even a very small amount can be deadly. First responders should use caution and utilize appropriate personal protective equipment when handling carfentanil due to the drug’s ability to be absorbed through the skin. As a result, carfentanil could pose a grave danger to law enforcement and other first responders encountering the drug in an emergency medical situation.  A Briefing Guide for First Responders issued by the DEA can be found at www.dea.gov

Signs and symptoms of exposure to fentanyl or carfentanil are consistent with opioid toxicity and include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Respiratory depression (shallow or absent breathing)
  • Depressed mental status (dizziness, lethargy, sedation or loss of consciousness)
  • Gastrointestinal irritation (nausea, vomiting)
  • Cardiovascular failure (weak or absent pulse and cold, clammy skin)

More than two doses of naloxone may be needed to revive someone who overdoses while using these drugs.

Signs of an Opioid OVERDOSE:

  • Person is not responsive
  • Breathing is slow, shallow or stops
  • Gurgling or snoring noises
  • Fingertips or lips turn blue or grey

Remember the Good Samaritan Law – Save a Life!

  • If you provide help or assist a person experiencing a medical emergency due to alcohol or drugs, you are criminally IMMUNE from being charged, arrested and prosecuted for certain crimes. (Ann. Code Md. CR §1-210)
  • The police and the courts believe that saving a life is more important than a charge or an arrest.

Where to get treatment

Call the Carroll County Health Department, Bureau of Prevention, Wellness and Recovery at 410-876-4449 during business hours to speak with a Service Coordinator for available resources.

You may also call the Maryland Crisis Hotline 24/7 by dialing 211 and pressing “1”. For more information, visit https://beforeitstoolate.maryland.gov/maryland-crisis-hotline/

To register for a free Naloxone training, call Access Carroll at 410-876-4800.

For more information, call (410) 876-4806 OR contact LuAnn Beck-Day at luann.beck-day@maryland.gov