by Jim Spiewak
Friday, August 21st 2020
One part of Utah is seeing an alarming trend in overdoses. Just as concerning is that more of the medicine needed to reverse an overdose is being used to save these lives. (Photo: KUTV)
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — One part of Utah is seeing an alarming trend in overdoses. Just as concerning is that more of the medicine needed to reverse an overdose is being used to save these lives.
The Utah Harm Reduction Coalition posted a warning this week for Salt Lake City's 84116 zip code. Now, experts are trying to get to the bottom of this before someone dies from what appears to be a very strong batch of drugs making its way around town.
Reversing an overdose usually requires one or two doses of Narcan, but in the past few days Georgia Gregersen has saved two peoples' lives — and has needed a lot more than two doses to do it.
“The first one took five, the second one took seven. It's a remarkably strong stuff that these people are using,” Gregersen said.
Gregersen works for a needle exchange program and says her clients have recently been talking about a spike in overdoses.
We don't know exactly what we're dealing with at this moment, but we are definitely trying to find out,” Gregersen said.
Mindy Vincent runs the needle exchange program Gregersen works for and says, “that's crazy uncommon, and it's actually incredibly concerning.”
They've identified at least nine incidents where 21 doses of Narcan were needed.
“It tells us there's a bad batch of dope around, for sure,” Vincent said.
Vincent can't assume it's the powerful drug fentanyl, but she is seeing that drug test positive in other drugs like heroin.
To be able to surprise or shock seasoned veterans of this type of work — that says something about what's going on,” Vincent said.
Without more research, it's impossible to know if there is something more to this "bad batch."
“We just don't know for sure, and without proper drug testing like they have in other countries, we won't know for sure,” Vincent said.
For help with addiction, visit the Addicted Utah resources page.