Officials see spike in overdose deaths in central Ky.

Just six weeks into 2023, they’ve already recorded nine, and six more are pending,
Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 3:55 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A recent spike in overdoses around central Kentucky has harm reduction experts trying to spread awareness and resources to those in need.

“We had a run, I guess it was last week, where we had every day finding someone deceased,” said Madison County Coroner Jimmy Cornelison.

Cornelison said his office handled 69 or 70 overdose deaths in 2022.

Just six weeks into 2023, they’ve already recorded nine, and six more are pending,

“When you’ve got the needle still stuck in your arm, it was something that was pretty potent to kill you,” said Cornelison. “And when the needle is still loaded, it’s still got juice in there; that makes me think they were probably going to try and take the whole thing.”

John Moses oversees the harm reduction program at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department and says while he doesn’t have an exact number of recent overdoses, he believes the number is severely under-reported since the only data they have to work with comes in the form of 911 calls for service.

“Not knowing what’s in the drugs is the problem,” said Moses.

Moses says the drug crisis is ever-evolving and difficult to prepare for.

“We are seeing pills that look like Percocet, that are pure fentanyl,” said Moses. “Pills that look like Xanax bars, pure fentanyl.”

“Fentanyl is getting mixed into to meth, cocaine and who knows what else,” Moses said. “I think we’re just only a few years into this, and we don’t know exactly where it’s going.”

This is why on Valentine’s Day, the health department is encouraging everyone to carry naloxone and potentially save a life.