Nearly 30 overdoses in the capital region overnight, 2 deaths
TROY, NY (NEWS10) – Rensselaer County officials held a press conference Thursday morning after more than a dozen overdoses in the span of 14 hours, including two deaths.
Rensselaer County Manager Steve McLaughlin called the events of Wednesday night a heck of a hitch.
“What we saw last night we never saw here,” McLaughlin said.
In the capital region, there were reportedly 30 overdoses related to cocaine and crack containing fentanyl. At least 14 of these overdoses occurred in Rensselaer County. About a dozen have been reported in the city of Troy, and two were in the Schaghticoke and Speigletown area.
Troy Deputy Police Chief Dan DeWolf said some of the overdoses occurred in the 300 block of 3rd Avenue, the 1600 block of Highland Avenue, the 800 block of 6th Avenue and on the Oakwood Avenue near Eddys Lane.
“From 4:30 pm yesterday afternoon we got a call for an overdose, and from then until 6:30 am this morning I think we responded to a dozen or so. or more calls for overdoses, and unfortunately in two of those cases two people died, ”he said.
DeWolf added that some of the overdoses have resulted in car accidents.
“One was on 5th Avenue near 105th and the other was on 6th Avenue near Middleburg,” DeWolf said.
Rensselaer County Health Commissioner Mary Fran Wachunas said she has also reported at least ten overdoses in the Clifton Park area. She warns that other parts of the capital region should be ready to see it in their communities.
“It’s not a problem that is a city center problem; it’s a region-wide problem, ”said McLaughlin.
Police warn the wrong batch of drugs are likely still in circulation and said they are working with a number of local agencies to find those distributing it in order to get it off the streets.
McLaughlin, Wachunas and Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said the overdoses were not necessarily people struggling with addiction – some appear to be recreational use. Wachunas warns that cocaine is not what it used to be and those who indulge in it need to know it could be a deadly decision.
“It’s not what you’ve seen before. These are people who are professional in many cases. You are really rolling the dice with your life; you play russian roulette with your life when you take this stuff. It can and will kill you, ”McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said that while they certainly don’t encourage anyone to use drugs, they also understand the reality that it will happen. So they are begging anyone to use the resources offered by the county as well, including the free Narcan and Fentanyl test strips. .
“We’ll deliver it to you, no questions asked,” McLaughlin said.
Wachunas said that last year the county recorded a total of 34 fatal overdoses. So far this year, the county has 31 fatal overdoses and the majority of them have occurred in the past two months.
“March 17 was our first positive case of COVID in the county. We have, unfortunately, 28 people who have died from COVID. We’ve had 23 deaths from overdoses in exactly the same window, ”McLaughlin said.
For those seeking help with drug addiction, a county helpline has been set up. Call 1-833-467-3123 for assistance. Fentanyl test strips are also available by calling the Department of Health at 518-270-2655.
The strips test for the presence of fentanyl in medications and are available without questions asked. Narcan can also be obtained for those in need. To get Narcan, send the word “Narcan” to 21000.