Elkhart officials warn of overdose uptick caused by marijuana possibly laced with fentanyl

NOW: Elkhart officials warn of overdose uptick caused by marijuana possibly laced with fentanyl

ELKHART, Ind. --- Elkhart County officials are warning about an uptick in overdoses.

In a Facebook post Tuesday — Elkhart Firefighters Local 338 says — the unintentional overdoses were caused by marijuana possibly laced with fentanyl.

The firefighters union said the people suffering these overdoses likely had no idea what they were putting in their bodies.

With substance use increasing since the start of the pandemic, experts are spreading the word about the potentially fatal consequences.

"Currently, because the market for illicit substances is so poisoned more people that are using are dying at faster rates," said Chad Sabora, VP of Government and Public Relations Indiana Center for Recovery.

More than 1,800 people in Indiana have died of a drug overdose in the past year, according to the CDC.

Chad Sabora of Indiana Center for Recovery says — it’s not an opioid crisis we’re dealing with, but a poisoning one.

“The market is so volatile and so dangerous right now that we’re beyond opioid crisis. Our numbers are going to keep rising unless we enact some different ways to handle this," said Sabora.

He recommends every resident - whether you know someone using or not - carry Naloxone, also known as Narcan.

The medication can be the difference between life or death.

“Anybody can use it. In Indiana you have a protection. If you administer Naloxone, you cannot get in trouble," said Sabora.

The Elkhart Police Department tells ABC57, they’re aware of the recent overdoses.

It’s even encouraging officers to carry extra naloxone. Indiana Center for Recovery can ship naloxone to your home if you fill out this form here.

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