Jefferson County health officials report four overdose cases within 24 hours


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (Aug. 21, 2020) – Jefferson County Public Health Service officials have announced the county has experienced at least four overdoses from drug use within the last 24 hours. Individuals using drugs, including but not limited to marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, must understand that no drug is safe, and any drug could contain lethal amounts of fentanyl.

According to data submitted by first responders using the ODMAP software system, the county has experienced 179 known overdoses from drug use this year to date. Heroin and fentanyl are the suspected primary drugs, however other drugs or combinations of drugs are also causing these overdoses. 

Per data submitted in the ODMAP system, overdose activity has steadily risen since March when there were 22 suspected overdoses reported, followed by 27 suspected overdoses reported in April, 32 suspected overdoses reported in May, and 35 suspected overdoses reported in June. 

After the public warning issued June 22, suspected overdose activity reported in ODMAP declined to 21 suspected overdoses reported in July, and eight suspected overdoses reported in August to date. However, four of the eight reported in August occurred within the last 24 hours. Individuals who are overdosing and surviving are requiring multiple doses of Naloxone.

There have been 21 confirmed overdose deaths for 2020 in Jefferson County, including three in January, one in February, five in March, two in April, two in May, seven in June, and one in July. Nineteen (90%) of these confirmed deaths were due to opioids; 17 of these attributed specifically to the opioid fentanyl.  An additional three suspected overdose fatalities are now pending toxicology report confirmation.     

The Jefferson County Public Health Service, Jefferson County Department of Community Services, and the Alliance for Better Communities want to remind people that a number of community resources have been established and expanded to help people who have substance use disorders, and for people to access these resources to receive assistance and treatment.

Those resources are as follows:

  • Anchor Recovery Center of NNY: (315) 836-3460

  • Credo Community Center for Treatment of Addictions: (315) 788-1530

  • ACR Health: (315) 785-8222

  • Samaritan Addiction Services: (315) 779-5060

  • Samaritan Medical Center - Social Worker on Call: (315) 785-4516

  • Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

  • Northern Regional Center for Independent Living: (315) 785-8703 business hours and (315) 785-8708 on nights and weekends.

  • Mobile Crisis Jefferson County: (315) 782-2327 of (315) 777-9681

  • Hope Line: 1-877-8-HOPENY or Text 46736


To receive Naloxone training and free kits, contact Credo, ACR Health, or the Anchor Recovery Center of NNY

The public is also reminded of New York State’s 911 Good Samaritan Law, which allows people to call 911 without fear of arrest due to drug possession if they are having a drug or alcohol overdose that requires emergency medical care or if they witness someone overdosing.


(Jefferson County Public Health Service)