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Dr. Mark Jorrisch, a long-time practitioner in the field of addiction medicine, recently gave a presentation on the basics of opioid addiction. Dr. Jorrisch is the medical director for the Louisville Metro Methadone Opiate Rehabilitation Center (MORE) and the BHG Clinic in Lexington, KY.

heroinLocal officials are warning of a more dangerous mix of drugs circulating on Louisville streets, leading to more drug overdoses. Louisville Metro Police had to administer the drug Naloxone to reverse drug overdoses 43 times during the first 12 days of March compared to 26 times for the entire month of February and only seven times during January.

“This represents a 65 percent increase in March and the month is not yet half over. It’s important that the community, especially the families and friends of drug users, know this,” said Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad.

“While this information is still preliminary, because we don’t yet have toxicology results, through March 9, we have had 34 overdose deaths that appear to have been related to heroin use, as compared to 13 for the same period last year. This represents a 162 percent increase compared to last year,” said Conrad.

Jefferson County Coroner Dr. Barbara Weakley Jones pointed to a rise in the drugs fentanyl and gabapentin in the bloodstreams of people dying from drug overdoses. “It takes between four and six weeks for us to get blood lab results back so we don’t have confirmed results for February and March of this year,” said Dr. Jones. “However, in the last quarter of 2015 and in January of this year, we saw increasing numbers of overdose deaths in which we found fentanyl and gabapentin.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid first developed in 1959, similar to but more potent than morphine. Mixing fentanyl with street heroin markedly amplifies the potency and potential dangers. Effects include: euphoria, drowsiness/respiratory depression and arrest (death), nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, unconsciousness, coma, and addiction.

Similarly, gabapentin, also known as by its brand name Neurontin, is a drug with legitimate uses, such as for the control of seizures. Like fentanyl, it can amplify the potency and lethality when mixed with street opioids.

“Heroin is dangerous. The potency is always changing,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, interim director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “Every time someone injects heroin they run the risk of overdosing and dying, Family members and friends of those using drugs should direct their loved ones to the Louisville Metro Syringe Exchange, where their loved ones can get safe injection supplies, access to the medical system, and referral to drug treatment.”

Russ Read of the Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition said that his organization distributes free Naloxone kits and conducts free training on how to use them. Naloxone can reverse the effects of a drug overdose and prevent death. The free kits and training are available to the general public. The next training will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, March 15 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Department of Public Health and Wellness located at 400 E. Gray St.

Louisville – The Metro Council’s Intergovernmental Affairs Committee will receive an update on the syringe exchange program operated by the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness on Thursday December 3rd.

Members will hear from the Interim Director of the department, Dr. Sarah Moyer.  She will discuss how the program has operated since it began in June.

“As part of the approval for the syringe exchange, the Metro Council promised the community we would closely follow the effectiveness of the program.  As Chair of both Public Safety and Intergovernmental Affairs, I wish to ensure any legislation enacted by the Council is helping to build a stronger and safer community.  It is important we get accurate facts about how the program has been operating and further discuss with Dr. Moyer how to strengthen the exchange in the future,” says Councilman David Yates (D-25).

Louisville was the first city in Kentucky to move forward with a syringe exchange program after approval by the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly.

The Intergovernmental Affairs Committee will meet at 3:00pm in Council Chambers, 601 West Jefferson Street.

All Council meetings are carried live on Metro TV, Time Warner Cable Channel 25.  For UVERSE Subscribers, the meeting airs on Channel 99.  You can also watch the meetings online by going to the Metro Council home page at http://louisvilleky.gov/government/metro-council/metro-council-clerk  and click the “Watch Meetings Online” button.

Training Set For Monday, October 12th At Southwest Regional Library

Louisville – In an effort to better educate the public about a current drug problem and save lives, Councilman David Yates (D-25) is partnering with the Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition to sponsor a free training session on Heroin/Opioid Overdose prevention this coming Monday, October 12th.

          ““The Heroin epidemic in Kentucky and even in our local community is staggering. We have a duty we as elected officials to help keep the public safe, says Yates. “At the same time, there are ways we can help save lives as we combat overdoses and get addicts into treatment. This training could definitely save a life.”

          The training session will take place at the Southwest Regional Library from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

Kristen Keller and Phyllis Richardson of the Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition will conduct the training on Heroin/Opioid Overdose Prevention. Both women lost members of their families to drug addiction.

The training will feature the following:

 ·        Learning  the signs and symptoms of heroin and opioid overdose

·        Learn how to use Naloxone (Narcan) to respond to an overdose

·        Each individual can register to receive a Naloxone kit

         “We want to encourage the public to join in this fight because opiate overdose can be prevented and we want to thank Councilman Yates for his interest in keeping our community safe,” says Keller.

         The Southwest Regional Library is located at 9725 Dixie Highway

         You can learn more here: https://kyhrc.org/naloxone-and-overdose-response/

Franklin County Sheriff Encourages Dealers to ‘Drop a Dime’ on Competitors

TurnInDrugDealersFranklin County Sheriff Pat Melton says he got the idea from another sheriff in Georgia.  The Sheriff’s Office has been receiving thousands of online likes and shares of a post that offers their “free service to help you eliminate your drug competition.”  Melton claims to have had over 100,000 people engaged by the social media post.

The campaign has led to hundreds of calls and double-digit “credible tips” about local drug dealers.

The post included a form to fill out with relevant details to help the police with their investigation, along with an address to which the form could be mailed and a phone number to call or text with the information.

While the ad is a humorous reminder to the general public that they can help clean up their neighborhoods by reporting illegal activity, it seems as if some drug dealers have taken the message to heart.  It has been reported that at least one alleged drug dealer has actually called his sheriff to report another in an apparent attempt to squeeze out his competition.

Crystal_MethOn Friday, Louisville Metro Police responded to a 911 call from a woman that claimed her there was a strong odor coming from her neighbor’s apartment and she believed that they were cooking methamphetamine. When police arrived, the tenant of the apartment, 45 year old Jimmy Ashford, gave permission for his home to be searched.

Once inside the apartment, police confirmed that there was a strong odor in the apartment. They then found a bottle in the bathroom that was smoking. Police immediately evacuated the apartment. The Louisville Metro Police Clandestine Lab Team was then brought in to dismantle the lab. The team found paraphernalia and  a vessel containing chemicals commonly used to produce crystal meth.

LMPD arrested Ashford, as well as 41 year old Lena Brock and 39 year old Dana Potts. Both women were at the apartment with Ashford. All three are being charged with the manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

heroinMetro Police arrested 40 year-old, Orlando Wise, for selling marijuana and heroin through the drive-thru at the Rally’s on Dixie Highway in Valley Station.

Over the course of several days, Louisville Metro Police had watched Wise and finally caught him in the act. Police found prepackaged heroin and marijuana as well as cash. A search of him home on Grafton Hall Road revealed more evidence.

Wise has a criminal history and this is not his first arrest for the sale of drugs.

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