The Oneida County Overdose Response Team has issued its second overdose spike alert this month due to a significant increase in overdoses.

As of May 27, the County’s Overdose Detection & Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) has detected 51 overdoses in May. Year-to-date, ODMAP shows an average of 29 overdoses per month, which puts May’s number 72% higher than the 2022 monthly average. There have been five drug-related deaths for May and 26 year-to-date.

The spike alert was triggered by six non-fatal overdoses that occurred on May 26 as a result of heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and other drugs. A spike alert was also issued on May 6 when four non-fatal drug overdoses occurred on May 3.

This surge in overdoses is extremely concerning. Our surveillance programs show not only an uptick in overdoses, but also a significant increase in the number of Narcan doses administered for overdose events, as well as intel suggesting there is a potent purple heroin circulating in the region. With the holiday weekend approaching, and the possibility of an increase in recreational drug use, we want to warn people of these dangers and remind them to take action to reduce risk of fatal overdose by seeking treatment and harm reduction resources like naloxone.