Overdose Surge: 70+ Suspected Overdoses Lead to Multiple Deaths in Austin; 2 Detained

Austin, Texas – Two individuals have been detained as persons of interest following an outbreak of drug overdoses that has resulted in multiple fatalities, according to the Austin-Travis County EMS.

Since Wednesday, the EMS has responded to approximately 70 suspected overdose cases, with the possibility of more cases emerging in the coming days.

The eight deaths associated with this surge of overdoses are believed to be opioid-related, although no confirmation has been provided by ATCEMS.

The EMS reported responding to 37 overdose incidents on Monday, 27 on Tuesday, and seven on Wednesday, indicating a concerning trend of an uptick in overdose cases.

Amidst the crisis, efforts have been made by various organizations, including EMS, homeless strategy office, urban alchemy, and Texas Harm Reduction Alliance, to distribute Narcan, a medication used to counteract opioid overdoses.

More than 400 doses of Narcan have been distributed by ATCEMS, which has been crucial in reducing the number of overdose cases in a short period. Captain Christa Stedman of ATCEMS praised the community’s response to the crisis, emphasizing the effectiveness of Narcan in saving lives.

Texas Harm Reduction Alliance has also been proactive in distributing Narcan, providing over 100 doses on Tuesday and offering training and education on overdose prevention to individuals in need.

The outbreak of overdoses initially concentrated in downtown Austin has since spread to other areas, prompting concerns about the source of the illicit drugs responsible for the surge in cases.

City EMS Captain Christa Stedman highlighted the possibility of a new batch of harmful drugs circulating in the community, leading to the spike in overdose incidents linked to a few specific sources.

APD’s Narcotics Support Unit is actively investigating leads to apprehend individuals involved in distributing the illicit substances, with a focus on addressing the root cause of the crisis.

While specific details about the suspects have not been released by APD, additional arrests may follow as the investigation progresses. The collaborative efforts of various agencies and organizations underscore the importance of community engagement in combating drug-related emergencies effectively.