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Overdose spike in Auburn causes concern

Three overdoses in three days in Auburn have police and community groups concerned.

On Wednesday, a young woman died after overdosing at the Days Inn, according to Auburn Police Department Chief Shawn Butler. He said the overdoses are concerning, adding “we haven’t seen a spike like this in quite some time.”

In a typical week, overdoses have become more of a rarity, Butler said Thursday, adding he wouldn’t have been able to say that a few years ago.

Lon Fricano, president of the Heroin Epidemic Action League, said spikes in overdoses like this “happen every so often” and were more common a couple years ago. Anecdotally, when a spike like this happens, he said it’s often assumed that a bad batch of heroin has made its way to Auburn, maybe from Syracuse or Rochester.

Nick’s Ride 4 Friends also posted on Facebook Wednesday afternoon to say “there is a very bad batch of heroin going around in Auburn” and to remind people there is help available.

Police are unsure what kind of substance led to the overdoses this week, but Butler said he assumes it’s most likely heroin. APD’s detectives and drug task force are working together to see what’s out there and see if they can bring an end to what’s going on, he added.

Butler said there have been more “self-saves” lately now that the public has access to Narcan and he suggested the treatment of overdoses has perhaps gone more underground. With Narcan available, the department is contacted less frequently in the case of an overdose. Butler said it’s great that the public has and is using Narcan, but a side effect of that is with the issue in the public eye less, people may be more numb to the issue.

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