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A timely warning as Carroll County issues overdose alert

Posted: 5:20 PM, Nov 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-07 18:13:47-05

WESTMINSTER, Md. — Sunday afternoon, a 29-year-old man dies from an apparent overdose on East Main Street in Westminster, and on Tuesday, two additional overdoses come 13 minutes apart on West Main and Pennsylvania Avenues.

Tracking down the source of this spike could take time, so the Westminster police contacted the county health department to issue an alert.

Lisa Pollard is the department's director of recovery services.

"It represents maybe a new chemical being added to the heroin or the fentanyl that's already out on the street so it makes it more lethal,” Pollard explained. “People don't know when something new comes in the pipeline and people start overdosing in higher numbers."

Numbers, which could add to the 759 overdoses reported in the county thus far this year, and the three dozen of them, which cost users their lives.

"Our concern is really about saving lives, because there's no fast and easy way to get information out to people who are actively using out on the streets other than to send some sort of social media alert that people can share, their families can share it and maybe they'll see it just to try to save lives, because they have no clue what's coming," added Pollard.

This is the fourth straight month the department has issued such an alert, but that number means little here.

In the midst of the opioid crisis with lives on the line, warning those most at risk becomes the number one priority.

"I know that it's shared a lot and so we're hoping it has a positive response. We didn't have any overdoses last night so that's a positive response," said Pollard. "I think we owe a lot to our wonderful partners with law enforcement and emergency management systems and we just do what we can to try to save lives in Carroll County."