The Oneida County Overdose Response Team is reporting an alarming spike in overdoes fatalities.

Officials say since April 1st there have been 15 heroin related overdoses in the county, five of which were fatal.

Officials with the Oneida County Overdose Response Team use the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program to track incidents.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse COVID-19 may be having a negative impact on recovery as physical distancing may create barriers to treatment and recovery.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says,

There are concerns nationwide that COVID-19 may put people with substance use disorder at greater risk for a fatal overdose. At this highly vulnerable time for all in our community, we are coordinating with essential service providers on our Opioid Task Force to decrease this spike in fatalities by implementing strategies that ensure access to mental health, substance use and overdose prevention services such as Narcan.

Oneida County is looking to expand access to Narcan and adopt recovery and treatment practices that are compliant with critical social distancing measures.