CDC reports record number of overdose deaths accelerated by pandemic
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - News data from the CDC shows between May 2020 and April 2021, the estimated number of overdoses in a year exceeded 100,000 for the first time. Public health officials said the Red River Valley is not immune to these trends.
”It’s just a nasty thing we are seeing right now,” said Harm Reduction Specialist Jordan Beyer, “It’s everywhere and in everything.”
In it’s December 14 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC reports the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the number of people dying from overdosing on illegally made fentanyl, and it’s happening in Cass County.
“We are seeing it [fentanyl] in a lot of other drugs that usually wouldn’t have it,” said Beyer.
He said the majority of people who die after taking a deadly dose don’t know they are taking fentanyl.
“Xanax with fentanyl in it...” said Beyer, “As of late I heard from one of my participants that there was cocaine that was coming into town from Minneapolis that had fentanyl in it.”
On Dec. 10 a man in Moorhead, MN was arrested with $15,000 worth of drugs, including what authorities believe to be cocaine mixed with Fentanyl.
The CDC reports urgent action is needed to slow the alarming increase in drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl. Beyer said more people should have access and be trained in using Narcan, as you never know when you could run into someone who has overdosed.
“It could be as a gas station, literally anywhere,” said Beyer, “You’d rather be safe than sorry, if you have it, you could save someone’s life.”
Copyright 2021 KVLY. All rights reserved.