EUGENE, Ore. – Police in Eugene, Oregon have been responding to a concerning spike in overdose-related deaths since Wednesday, August 2, 2023. As of now, at least 8 deaths have been reported and initial investigations point to a possible connection to illicit drug use, particularly involving fentanyl.
The Lane County Medical Examiner is currently working to determine the exact cause of these tragic deaths. However, law enforcement officials have raised alarm about the potential involvement of fentanyl, a potent opioid that poses a high risk of overdose. The Eugene Police Department (EPD) is urging the public to be cautious, as the presence of fentanyl in street drugs has been on the rise.
In just a short period of time, this increase in overdose-related deaths has raised concerns within the community about the potency of the fentanyl being circulated. Law enforcement officials are warning that the current supply of fentanyl could be more potent and lethal than usual.
According to the EPD, the surge in overdose deaths has been particularly alarming, with multiple incidents reported in quick succession. This includes cases where emergency responders administered Narcan, a drug used to counteract opioid overdoses, but were unable to revive the victims.
The community is being advised to be extra vigilant, as substances containing fentanyl have been found in counterfeit pills and other illicit drugs. This includes pills being sold as commonly used medications such as oxycodone, Adderall, or Xanax, along with other powdered drugs like cocaine, MDMA, and methamphetamine.
As a precautionary measure, the EPD is urging citizens to assume that any illicit drug they encounter could potentially contain fentanyl. Furthermore, they are reminding the public that Narcan, the opioid overdose reversal medication, is readily available at pharmacies and can be obtained with or without a prescription. Additionally, organizations such as HIV Alliance and CORE Eugene are providing free Narcan and training for those who may need it.
The Eugene Police Department is working diligently to address this concerning trend and is advising the public to be aware and cautious in light of the recent spike in overdose-related deaths.