Lake County Health Department Reports Increase in Opioid Overdose Incidents, Urges Naloxone Sign-Up

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Lake County, Ill. — The Lake County Health Department reported Friday, June 10, 2022 that over the weekend of June 4, 2022, an increase in opioid-related overdoses occurred among Lake County residents. The increase has been reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Lake County Health Department did not initially release the precise statistics to the public, and did not provide whether there were any fatalities.

There has been a nationwide surge in unintentional polysubstance (e.g., opioid and fentanyl, etc.) and counterfeit prescription drug use. Unintentional polysubstance use can occur when a person takes drugs that have been mixed with other products without their knowledge.

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In 2020 alone, Lake County opioid overdose deaths rose 19.5 percent “Our community, like many others throughout Illinois, have been impacted by the opioid overdose crisis,” said Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister. “We must take steps to prevent overdose deaths and save lives.”

The Lake County Health Department is combating the opioid crisis in a multitude of ways, including the distribution of free Naloxone to community members and law enforcement personnel. Naloxone is a non-addictive, life-saving medication. It can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when used in time. It is easy to get and easy to use.

Lake County residents, especially those whose loved ones may be using opioids, are encouraged to have Naloxone on hand in case of an overdose.

“Opioid overdose is preventable and may be reversible with quick action,” said Lake County Health Department Medical Epidemiologist Dr. Sana Ahmed. “Naloxone is a safe and effective tool that is known to save lives and it can easily be administered into the nose by anyone, including friends, family, and, non-medical community members”

Symptoms of an opioid overdose include:

Unconsciousness, or inability to wake up
Limp body
Falling asleep, extreme drowsiness
Slow, shallow, irregular or no breathing
Pale, blue, cold and/or clammy skin
Choking, snoring, or gurgling sounds
Slow or no heartbeat

If you suspect an opioid overdose:

Call 911 immediately, provide the location of the overdose.

Administer Naloxone, if available. Naloxone won’t harm someone if they are overdosing from a drug other than opioids. For more information on how and when to administer Naloxone, visit the CDC’s page on Stopping Overdose with Naloxone.

Try to keep the person awake and breathing.

Lay the person on their side to prevent choking.

Stay with the individual until help arrives.

If you would like to request free Naloxone, visit www.lakecountyil.gov/naloxone or call (847) 377-8199.

Naloxone HCl Nasal Spray (SOURCE: Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Pennsylvania Department of Health and the San Francisco Department of Health. Naloxone for opioid safety: a provider’s guide to prescribing naloxone to patients who use opioids. January 2015)
Naloxone HCl Nasal Spray (SOURCE: Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Pennsylvania Department of Health and the San Francisco Department of Health. Naloxone for opioid safety: a provider’s guide to prescribing naloxone to patients who use opioids. January 2015/not necessarily the same product available from Lake County Health Department).

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