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Coroner: 23 suspected OD deaths since June 1

Call 513-316-7725 if you need Narcan
Posted at 3:50 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 13:33:13-04

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio — Some health and law enforcement officials are urging people with substance use disorders to keep Narcan on hand due to an increase in suspected overdose deaths.

Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco said Wednesday that 23 people have died since June 1 of a suspected overdose. In May, 42 people died from an overdose, she said.

Chief Tom Synan, co-chair of Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition, tweeted that people who are using drugs should “ensure someone is able to give Narcan and always call 911.”

“This goes against normal policing and may be enabling, but I hope it enables someone to stay alive – no matter what drug you use, do not use alone or all at same time,” he wrote.

An alert issued by Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati said that a high supply of fentanyl is putting people at risk, even people who use frequently.

The alert also said people who use cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine are at risk of consuming fentanyl, which causes overdoses and death. People using any of these drugs should have Narcan.

Officials issued a similar warning on April 24, after 13 people died of an overdose in five days.

Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus said the COVID-19 pandemic adds an extra layer of difficulty when the county's Quick Response Team tries to connect with someone who has overdosed.

The county’s QRT tries to make contact with people soon after they overdose, but now, they can’t knock on people’s doors anymore. And that person-to-person contact is vital when trying to get someone into treatment.

How can I get Narcan?

Anyone who needs Narcan should call Hamilton County Public Health at 513-946-7676. Hamilton County Public Health and the Narcan Distribution Collaborative is making Narcan available to the public free of charge.

Harm Reduction Ohio will mail Narcan to your house. Click here to watch a short training video before placing an order.

You can also call 513-316-7725 if you need fentanyl testing strips. If someone overdoses, you should still call 911, even if Narcan is administered.

How can I get clean injection supplies?

Hamilton County Public Health's Syringe Services Program is up and running again. (Officials had briefly switched this to appointment only because of COVID-19.)

Staff will wear masks at the locations and encourage people to do the same.

Here are the days, hours and locations for syringe services:

Monday | Northside
1 - 4 p.m.
1670 Cooper Street
Cincinnati, Ohio, 45223

Wednesday | Over-the-Rhine
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
106 W McMicken Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202

Thursday | Northside
5 - 7:30 p.m.
4138 Hamilton Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio, 45219

Thursday | Corryville
1 - 4 p.m.
Hamilton County Public Health
250 William Howard Taft
Cincinnati, Ohio, 45219

Friday | Western Hills
1 - 4 p.m.
Talbert House
4968 Glenway Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio, 45238

What treatment options are available?

Addiction Services Council can help connect people with treatment options in their area. Call 513-281-7880.

Treatment is still available at the following locations:

  • Talbert House | 513-629-2300
  • Center for Addiction Treatment | 513-381-6672
  • BrightView | 866-538-2161
  • Sunrise Treatment Center | 513-941-4999
  • UMADAOP | 513-541-7099

Synan said there are more locations in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky that are open and ready to help.

In additional to traditional treatment, virtual treatment options are also available.

Click here for more resources.