City of Oxford seeks to prevent overdoses in the community

Published 3:48 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

The Oxford Police Department is warning that counterfeit narcotics are leading to increased overdoses in the community.

OPD said in a statement this week that 10 people have died from overdoses and 16 individuals have survived an overdose. The most recent overdose cases involve counterfeit 30 mg Percocet pills.

Experts caution that these pills are often laced with other substances, including Fentanyl.

“Over the past year and a half to two years, with the increase of Fentanyl, we’ve seen people come into our treatment center who test positive for things like Fentanyl and they say they’ve never taken Fentanyl,” said John Keyes, Oxford Treatment Center Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor.

According to Keyes, the Percocet pills and other drugs are being pressed with Fentanyl and can cause overdoses. In the case of Percocet, the laced pills have the same identical markings as the real pharmaceutical markings.

“Maybe they went to buy a Xanax that ends up being laced with Fentanyl and they end up overdosing,” said Keyes. “We’ve seen such a dramatic increase in these overdoses with Fentanyl and cases like that. It’s sad.”

The production of counterfeit pharmaceuticals is growing across the area, according to OPD. Pharmaceutical medications should only be taken when obtained from a licensed pharmacist and used as directed by a licensed physician.

Keyes strongly advises those experiencing or witnessing an overdose to immediately contact emergency services. But he said the next best thing is to get as many people as possible trained on how to use Narcan and educate community members on available resources.

Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It does not help reverse effects of alcohol or cocaine overdose. Using Narcan is not a substitute for emergency medical care for opioid overdose.

“If that’s not on hand and the first thing you do is call emergency services, try CPR on someone,” said Keyes.

If any person has information about someone selling or possessing products to manufacture illegal narcotics, the OPD asks that they contact the department at 662-232-2400, Metro Narcotics at 662-236-3900 or the Lafayette County Crime Stoppers at 662-234-8477.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with addiction, here is a list of the following resources that the community has access to: Communicare, 662-234-7521;MS CARE, 662-234-6553; Oxford Treatment Center, 662-291-7308; Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, 662-373-2830.