INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — The Ingham County Health Department says it’s seeing suspected fatal overdoses at a “much higher rate than usual” this past week.
In a post Wednesday, the health department said it was aware of the ongoing issue and took the opportunity to remind about some ways to prevent overdoses.
The Lansing Police Department reposted the announcement from the Ingham County Health Department and said they are also seeing a higher than normal fatal overdoses in the area.
“Please be even MORE careful than normal and see the post below for info on free Narcan access,” LPD said on Facebook.
In light of the recent increase in overdoses, health department officials said to use fentanyl test strips and keep Narcan ready. Officials said Narcan kits are available for free and anonymously from Punks with Lunch Lansing, which is located at 1300 Eureka St. in Lansing.
Officials say knowing what to do and how to help someone experiencing an overdose is important and could help save lives.
Officials also say it’s important that people be more careful when using opioids as they are the cause of more than half of drug overdose deaths in Michigan and the U.S.
When it comes to overdose prevention, there are a couple of tools people should know about.
One of them is a fentanyl test strip. Officials say test strips can test opioids to see if it’s laced with the deadly drug.
The other is Narcan, an overdose-reversing drug that police use often and is now widely available to families who might have a loved one addicted to drugs.
Julia Miller of Punks With Lunch Lansing said that this week’s news hit close to home.
“I do personally know at least one of the people that we lost this week. It does put me on high alert. We provide new needles, we provide the ability for people to bring their old needles in so we can dispose of them properly so that they are not being left out in the open to be found by the public. We provide Narcan, fentanyl test strips. We run a judgment-free zone. We just love people. We want them to be safe and we want to make sure that people who are using substances are aware of what’s going on,” Miller said.
There is also a free Narcan vending machine at AC3 at 500 E. Thomas St. in Lansing, and the health department offers Narcan for pick up or drop off if you call 517-930-5514.
“Never use alone and/or call the Overdose Prevention Hotline at 1-800-484-3731 or the WARM LINE at 1-888-733-7753 and someone will stay on the line with you and contact emergency services if you become unresponsive,” the Ingham County Health Department said.