The fentanyl overdose death crisis in Jefferson County

Jefferson County is seeing an uptick in cocaine-fentanyl overdoses. This has become a new and growing concern for medical experts in the community.

One of the trained employees at Birmingham Recovery Center in Hoover who assists clients with substance abuse issues is executive director Ian Henyon.

Patients who have an overdose or near-death experience with cocaine laced with fentanyl are being seen in the outpatient clinic.

They are stating, “Hey, I drink sometimes and I use cocaine sometimes,” in our office. Henyon remarked, “I don’t think it’s really a problem, but I had this serious event.”

According to the coroner for Jefferson County, there have been 98 overdose deaths involving cocaine and fentanyl this year.

In Birmingham, seventy-four people passed away. Nine of these were in Jefferson County’s unincorporated areas. Five were in Bessemer, while ten were in other municipalities.

“People who may not believe they have a cocaine problem but are worried about the state of the world and wish to change course in their lives will be seen,” Henyon said.

Dr. Darlene Traffanstedt reports that the Jefferson County Department of Health saw 450 people order free naloxone kits from their website over the course of the weekend. This occurred just hours after Mayor Randall Woodfin tweeted that there were too many overdoses in the city from cocaine and fentanyl.

“Fentanyl is not going away, in my opinion. “I believe it will remain in our medication supply,” stated Medical Director Traffanstedt.

Their goal, according to her, is to get these kits into the hands of people who need them. It includes two nasal sprays of naloxone and a fentanyl test strip so you can check if the medicine contains fentanyl.

“While there isn’t a totally safe way to use unlisted substances, it can help people become more knowledgeable and maybe take some precautions to lower their risk of overdosing,” stated Traffanstedt.

Additionally, Birmingham Recovery Center staff members can assist in offering precautions.

Henyon said, “They can call us and we can talk to them about what’s going on.”

By Caleb Anderson

Caleb, a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling, has dedicated his career to bringing the latest news to the public. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to unbiased reporting, He navigates the dynamic world of journalism, covering a wide range of topics from local events to global issues. Caleb's insightful articles reflect his dedication to keeping readers informed and engaged in the ever-evolving landscape of news.

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