KALMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Seven people died and 10 were hospitalized in the Kalamazoo area last week of overdoses caused by a batch of fentanyl-laced cocaine.
Kalamazoo County health officials provided updated figures Wednesday on the rash of overdoses that happened April 12 and April 13. There were 18 overdoses; one case did not result in hospitalization or death. There have been no overdoses linked to the same batch since April 13, the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department said.
“This severe cluster of drug overdoses was likely due to an unintentional exposure to fentanyl in individuals whose intended drug was cocaine,” Kalamazoo County Medical Director Dr. William Nettleton said in a statement. “A rapid onset of overdose can occur with exposure to fentanyl, particularly in individuals who do not know whether fentanyl is present or do not have a history of using opioids such as fentanyl.”
The dead included a husband and wife in their 50s and two cousins from another family, Target 8 learned last week.
Health officials with Kalamazoo County said the best way to avoid overdose risks is to not use drugs. If drugs are being used, the health officials said to keep someone who is not using around and to keep naloxone close.
Naloxone is available at COPE Network ad Kalamazoo Harm Reduction by calling 269.580.8290. It can also be picked up as a prescription at certain pharmacies throughout the state.