Opioid overdose 'outbreak' in Austin, Texas linked to 8 deaths and more than 50 emergency calls

Police in Austin, Texas, said they responded to an “outbreak” that resulted in more than 50 calls for opioid-related overdoses and as many as eight deaths between Monday and Tuesday morning.

Officials said they started receiving more calls about opioids around 9 a.m. Monday. Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services Deputy Chief Steve White said the infections were concentrated in downtown, but were spreading throughout the city.

White said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon that EMS typically receives an average of two to three calls a day. During the surge, authorities said they responded to about 51 calls.

Overdose patients range in age from their 20s to their 50s, White said.

“We haven't experienced an overdose of this magnitude since 2015. K2 It hit our community,” he said, referring to synthetic marijuana that has led to mass overdoses.

“It is clear that there is a lethal amount of illegal drugs in our community,” said Austin Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Fitzgerald.

Emergency workers distributed 267 doses of vaccine. Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdose. Heidi Abraham, the city of Austin's deputy medical director, said at a news conference Monday that it's because of Narcan that “some of these people are still alive today.”

White said four of the patients police responded to died of suspected overdoses. The Travis County Coroner said he was involved in eight deaths of “suspected drug overdoses.”

Police are still investigating the overdose and announced that two persons of interest have been detained. One of them was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Mr Fitzgerald said the additional charges required further investigation.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/outbreak-opioid-overdoses-austin-texas-linked-8-deaths-50-emergency-ca-rcna150179 Opioid overdose 'outbreak' in Austin, Texas linked to 8 deaths and more than 50 emergency calls

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