Community Addiction Awareness Coordinator Angie Gatten told both local government bodies Nov. 14 that all the 14 drug overdose deaths in Henderson County through September were caused by fentanyl being added to the user’s drug of choice.
She said that none of the drug users knew that fentanyl had been added. She said dealers often add fentanyl to a different drug to cause a more intense high and hooking the user more quickly.
Fentanyl is odorless and can’t easily be detected when added to other drugs.
In presentations to both Henderson County Fiscal Court and the Henderson City Commission, she said that addiction occurs in all areas of Henderson and Henderson County.
Through September, the county recorded 54 overdoses, Gatten said. Of those overdoses and overdose deaths, most occur in people aged 26 to 45, she said. There have been 32 overdoses and nine overdose deaths in that age range, Gatten said.
Gatten said parents need to be aware of changes in children that have been away to college and are returning home for the holidays.
Finally, she reiterated the importance of carrying Narcan, saying employees of Pittsburg Tank and Tower recently used it on a colleague who was overdosing in his vehicle in the parking lot after returning from lunch. It revived him and allowed EMT personnel enough time to respond and save him, she said.