The Oneida County Overdose Response Team is again issuing a warning of fentanyl-laced cocaine and methamphetamine.

The U.S Drug Enforcement Administration  (DEA) is warning of a nationwide increase in mass-overdoses in which the victims are unknowingly ingesting fentanyl when taking cocaine or methamphetamine.

There have been 12 non-fatal overdoses in Oneida County so far this year with coke or meth as the suspected drug.

There have also been four confirmed drug-related deaths, and ten pending, that involve fentanyl and a stimulant.

"In view of the DEA’s warning, and our analysis of drugs detected in county drug-related deaths in 2021, we want to remind drug users that the likelihood of any street drug containing fentanyl is very high, which means that the likelihood of experiencing a fatal overdose is also high," said Oneida Couny Executive Anthony Picente.

In July 2021, the Overdose Response Team issued overdose alerts due to a mass-overdose event in Sylvan Beach and again in September in the Utica-area for a cluster of overdoses of which two were fatal. Both incidents were caused by cocaine laced with fentanyl.

In 2021, 46 percent of the 89 drug-related deaths in Oneida County involved fentanyl mixed with cocaine, methamphetamine or a combination of the two.

Picente says the county is working with Opioid Task Force partners to disseminate educational information on risks associated with stimulants and fentanyl, as well as expand access to naloxone and fentanyl test strips,

The county executive is also encouraging treatment and recovery programs to include information about naloxone and overdose with anyone engaging in substance use treatment for both opioids and stimulants.

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