TJHD warns of fentanyl

The Thomas Jefferson Health District is warning the public of a batch of heroin in the greater Charlottesville area that could be laced with fentanyl, or fentanyl derivatives, and could be potentially fatal to people who use it.  

Over the past 24 hours, University of Virginia Health reported treating six patients with heroin overdoses. The Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) does not know where the heroin originated, was purchased, nor what the batch was cut with, but officials are concerned that it may have fentanyl derivatives and could be fatal for people using it.

“Opioid overdoses are on the rise throughout the country and we want to help keep our communities safe.” said Dr. Denise Bonds, TJHD director. “We are issuing this alert to notify individuals who may be using substances of a potentially contaminated batch of heroin.”

In an effort to help community members prevent fatal opioid overdoses, TJHD will host events during the week of Aug. 31 to distribute free naloxone. Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is a fast-acting, safe and easy-to-administer nasal spray that can restore breathing and reduce potentially fatal effects of opioid overdoses. Naloxone should be given to any person who shows signs of an opioid overdose or when an overdose is suspected. A family member, bystander, first responder or medical provider can administer naloxone to save lives. As a reminder, if you come across someone who has overdosed, you should call 911.

These events are free to the public and do not require registration. The events are all drive-through at each health department listed below. Individuals who attend will learn how to use naloxone and receive a free box with two doses. Please note: TJHD does not ask to see identification when distributing naloxone.

  • Monday, August 31 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
    • Charlottesville/Albemarle Health Department, Door #1, 1138 Rose Hill Drive, Charlottesville, Va. 434-972-6269
  • Tuesday, September 1 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
    • Greene County Health Department, 50 Stanard Street, Stanardsville, Va. 434-985-2262
  • Tuesday, September 1 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
    • Louisa County Health Department, 540 Industrial Drive, Louisa, Va. 540-967-3703
  • Wednesday, September 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
    • Fluvanna County Health Department, 132 Main St., Route 15, Palmyra, Va. 434-591-1960
  • Thursday, September 3 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
    • Nelson County Health Department, 4038 Thomas Nelson Highway, Arrington, Va. 434-263-8315

For more information about opioids, visit www.CDC.gov/opioids. For more information about how to get free Narcan, call your local health department or visit www.TJHD.org.

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