The number of opioid overdose victims treated at Greene County emergency rooms nearly doubled over one 24-hour period this week. County officials say they believe the powerful synthetic drug fentanyl is to blame.
Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and up to 100 times stronger than morphine. Greene County health officials say even small amounts of the opioid painkiller can be deadly.
Between April 4 and April 5, county hospitals saw a total of 10 overdose victims -- up sharply from the average of four to five overdose calls a day.
Greene county has stepped up drug-overdose training for police and other emergency responders who handle overdose victims. Crews carry naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, which can reverse or block the effects of an overdose.
Officials are also urging the family members and friends of known drug users to keep naloxone on hand in case of an overdose.