County sees increase in overdose deaths


Last updated 1/16/2024 at 10:42am

Deschutes County Health Services has identified a recent increase in overdose fatalities, and is urging those who use substances and their families and friends to take additional precautions.

Four overdose fatalities within a six-day period appear to be linked to the use of fentanyl and in combination with other substances.

Recognizing and responding to an overdose can save a life.

Here are some signs and symptoms:

• Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils.”

• Falling asleep or losing consciousness.

• Slow, weak, or no breathing.

• Choking or gurgling sounds.

• Limp body.

• Cold and/or clammy skin.

• Discolored skin, especially in lips and nails.

Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids —including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications — when given in time.

If you need Naloxone, visit participating pharmacies or your local syringe exchange program

The Deschutes County Harm Reduction Program recommends the following steps and strategies for community members:

• Assume any substance purchased on the street may contain unknown substances.

• Make sure everyone in the area can access Naloxone (aka Narcan) and knows how to administer it.

• Naloxone is safe. Even if naloxone is given to someone who is not experiencing an overdose, it will not harm them.


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