Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth issued a “drug overdose alert” Thursday afternoon in response to an alarming number of reported overdoses in the last 24 to 48 hours throughout the county.
As of noon Thursday, sheriff’s deputies, officers from the Washington C.H. Police Department, and Fayette County EMS personnel have responded to 30 reported overdose calls in the last 10 days. Six deaths in the same 10-day period are suspected to be related to drug overdoses, but have not yet been confirmed by Fayette County Coroner Dr. Dennis Mesker.
Ross County and other southwest Ohio communities have issued similar alerts.
Fayette County Deputy Health Commissioner Leigh Cannon said Thursday that naloxone (the overdose reversal drug) is in short supply in the county due to the recent increase in reported drug overdoses and the increased number of naloxone doses being administered per person. Opiates such as fentanyl and carfentanil often require several doses of naloxone to reverse the overdose, said Stanforth.
Sheriff’s detectives are currently investigating an overdose that occurred in the Fayette County Jail Wednesday evening. At approximately 7:20 p.m., deputies found a male inmate unresponsive and summoned EMS to the jail. The inmate, identified as Kenneth R. Jackson, 37, was transported to Fayette County Memorial Hospital and then later transferred to a Columbus-area hospital by medical helicopter. He is reportedly in “life-threatening condition.”
“The Fayette County Jail has seen a rise in the number of incidents related to drugs and other contraband being smuggled into the jail facility in body cavities,” said Stanforth. “These growing security risks have expedited the process of purchasing a body scanner that will be utilized during the intake/booking process of inmates into the Fayette County Jail.”
The sheriff’s office and police department are continuing their collaborative enforcement efforts in combating the drug epidemic and are encouraging citizens to report drug activity by visiting www.faycoso.com and leave a tip by clicking on the “Report a Tip” link.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica