Boyle sheriff blames two overdose deaths on fentanyl

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Boyle County Emergency Medical Services and the Boyle County Sheriff’s office responded to more drug overdoses and possible deaths due to drug overdoses this past weekend in Boyle County. The sheriff’s office has blamed two overdose deaths on the powerful opioid drug fentanyl.

According to Boyle County EMS, they responded to at least three, if not more, overdoses over the weekend. 

Since January, EMS personnel have given 94 doses of naloxone to people believed to be overdosing, Captain Dewey Cummins said. Naloxone is a drug that counteracts the overdose effects of opioid drugs. The number of naloxone doses has nearly doubled from last year, when 53 doses were administered, he said. 

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Two overdose deaths were blamed on fentanyl by the Boyle County Sheriff’s Office in an update on their Facebook page Sunday night.

“There have been two fentanyl laced heroin deaths in Boyle County this weekend,” the post reads. “Please forward any and all heroin dealer information to the Boyle County Sheriff’s Office. You can remain anonymous. And if anyone reading this happens to be a heroin dealer in Boyle County, just know that we are coming for you.”  

Boyle County Sheriff Derek Robbins said they are not sure exactly what happened in the overdose deaths. The sheriff’s office will not be able to prove anything until the coroner’s reports come back, he said. 

Boyle County Coroner Dr. Don Hamner said he is currently conducting toxicology reports on the individuals, but says the deaths were most likely due to a drug overdose. 

The results of the toxicology reports will come back within the next three or four weeks, he said. 

Robbins said the Facebook post was written to warn people that whatever drug is going around is bad. 

“It was posted to raise awareness that something is going on,” he said. 

Robbins said he believed one of the individuals who died had been in jail and was just recently released. He speculated that the individual’s tolerance level for drugs could have decreased during his time in jail and he may have attempted to use the same amount as used previously, causing him to overdose.

That is one of the possible scenarios for the cause of the death, he said, emphasizing that the official cause is not yet known.

The Facebook post about the deaths has brought in phone calls and created leads as to who is selling, Robbins said. 

“We are trying to make a dent,” he said. “It’s an uphill battle.”