NEWARK, Ohio (WCMH) — Licking County health officials saw an overdose spike in April, and have offered free Narcan to residents.
Through April 26, there were 83 suspected non-fatal overdoses in Licking County since the beginning of 2022. An additional eight overdoses have been confirmed as fatal.
“Seventy-two percent of the fatal overdoses in 2021 contained fentanyl and [it] continues to be a common substance found in overdoses in Licking County,” Katie Beaver, Licking County Health Department public information officer said in an email statement.
The county tracks both fatal and non-fatal suspected overdoses in order to provide targeted resources.
“Those resources could be anywhere from Naloxone (Narcan) to a treatment facility,” Beaver said. “Our main goal is to help and serve individuals in Licking County. LCHD operated a Drug Overdose Prevention program and Naloxone distribution program.”
Residents can apply for free Narcan through “Project Dawn” which also includes an overdose spike texting alert system.
The county’s drug overdose prevention coalition meets quarterly. The health department also takes part in a national database that tracks both fatal and non-fatal suspected overdoses.
“This data is used to identify suspected overdose spikes, which allow us to target resources in the specific areas where those suspected overdoses are occurring,” Beaver said.