Overdoses increasing in Madison County

Drug overdoses increasing in Madison County
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 5:36 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On Thursday several groups from around Tennessee Valley came together to warn the public about the increase in overdoses. The organizers say the culprit is Fentanyl.

Madison County Coroner Tyler Berryhill says that the county has seen an alarming uptick in overdoses just this week.

“We have had seven projected drug-related deaths and an additional death which is a true possibility but we have to wait for all of our lab work to be returned from the state of Alabama,” Berryhill said.

Berryhill says that there have been around 121 overdoes this year.

“In the past four years as far as deaths within a week’s time this is by far the most we have ever had and probably throughout the past decade as well as here locally,” Berryhill said.

Wendy Reeves the executive director of partnership for a drug-free community held an event today to talk about the recent overdoses.

“Just last week our board approved us to do a trial run on fentanyl test strips. State legislature back in the spring approved that they are legal for people to have a use. There’s still not a state-wide mechanism in place to fund those yet,” Reeves said.

Reeves said they are in desperate need of life-saving fentanyl test strips and hopes a shipment will come in shortly.

“We don’t have an unlimited supply it is a limited supply,” Reeves said. “In light of these increase in overdoses that we’re seeing this week, we really really want to offer them to people who are active users, who are not interested in fentanyl, but who are fearful that they may be getting fentanyl when they get something.”

Reeves admits that you can not stop people from taking drugs but, the test strips can warn users if their drugs are laced with Fentanyl.

“It is something that people can use to help protect themselves we have a lot of drug use in our community.”

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