NORWICH — In a single hour on Friday, emergency crews responded to three separate drug overdoses in the City of Norwich, prompting authorities to issue a public warning about suspected fentanyl contamination.
“This is a pubic safety announcement warning the public, bad heroin laced with another substance, possibly fentanyl, is being circulated around the City of Norwich and surrounding areas,” stated a warning issued Friday afternoon by Norwich Police Chief Rodney Marsh. “If you or someone you know uses this illegal narcotic, please be aware of this contaminated narcotic. If you need assistance in recovering, there are programs available in the area.”
Detective Sergeant Reuben Roach said Monday police were investigating the origin the the drugs. He said police suspect they may have originated from the same dealer.
He said emergency crews from the Norwich Fire and Police Departments responded to the scenes and were forced to employ the life-saving counter-drug Narcan on at least two of the individuals. No deaths were reported.
Police have reached out to health agencies and aid groups to help warn local residents about the dangers.
“We really want to get ahead of it. It's a terrible thing and we want to save lives,” said Roach.
City police are conducting an investigation with the aid of the district attorney, Chenango County Sheriff's Office, and New York State Police.
“We're trying to stem the influx and we're looking into the origin,” said Roach.
“If you are struggling with substance abuse please take a Narcan class and be careful, and and know the substance you are using. Have family members trained on how to use Narcan too, in case you get a bad batch.”
Roach said the area was seeing more drug use and overdoses in recent years.
“We need more resources and mental health counseling for the substance abuse issue,” he said.