Erie County sees uptick in overdose deaths

Local News

An uptick in overdoses in Erie County is just part of the more than 100,000 people who died of overdoses nationwide within the last year.

One family member inside EmergyCare is warning others to get immediate help before it is too late.

We are being told that this past weekend there was a slight uptick of people overdosing in Erie. People we spoke with are saying that it is only going to get worse.

“My son has been clean for seven years. Met an old friend of his from the program which was also an addict and you can’t do that when you’re a drug addict. You can’t date another addict,” said Charles Klenk, Retired Sheriff.

Klenk’s son relapsed three times, but soon got back on track just about eight months ago.

“We were told if he relapses again he’ll probably die because he uses heroin. He was making his own meth,” said Klenk.

It only takes from seconds to minutes to die from opioids.

“Since August through October 31st we’ve seen overdoses almost doubled in the city here and local area,” said David Basnak, Assistant Director of EmergyCare.

Fentanyl appears to be the number one killer nowadays. Fentanyl is used for maximum pain relief and usually comes in a patch that is meant to be put on your body, not internally.

“Taken into the mucus of the stomach, so it’ll all go in the blood stream at once and what it does, like any opioid, is it freezes the respiratory center of the brain so you forget how to breathe,” said Lyell Cook, Erie County Coroner.

We’ve been told using Narcan blocks the impact of the opioid in the body. It helps reverse the decrease in breathing, but if someone consumes fentanyl, it is rare to catch a breath.

“There’s nothing you can do to make them stop. They have to stop on their own, but you can be understanding and try to get them help,” said Klenk.

As Klenk and others are saying, the best solution to save you or your family from addiction is to seek help.

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