In just a six-day period, at least five people overdosed on various types of prescription medications that appear to have been altered with an unknown substance, according to the Owensboro Police Department.
“We would occasionally have an overdose, but five in less than a week is a significant increase from what we’ve seen in the past,” said OPD Public Information Officer Andy Boggess. “Based on that, we wanted to make the public aware of the potential dangers out there and the fact there could potentially be some prescriptions that are being taken illegally that could be tainted or contaminated.
Each of the recent overdoses required the use of Naloxone (Narcan) in a lifesaving capacity.
There were no deaths in the five cases, but Boggess said if it had not been for the quick response and the use of Narcan, each of them were potentially life-threatening.
Boggess said OPD is still trying to determine what has been altered as well as whether or not all the cases are related.
“We’re still waiting on lab results to see what the substance or substances may be,” he said. “We haven’t definitely made a link between all the cases but given the time frame, we believe most if not all of them are going to be related. It’s very much an active investigation. Our detectives are working very diligently to get to the bottom of it.”
According to OPD, the prescription pills were being taken recreationally after being obtained illegally.
“They were aware, obviously, these were not pills they got from the pharmacy, but we believe the overdoses themselves were accidental,” Boggess said. “We don’t believe they understood what exactly was in the pills they were taking. Nonetheless, it is very serious and concerning.”
Detectives with the Owensboro Police Department – Street Crimes Unit are investigating to determine the source of these altered pills, and anyone with additional information is encouraged to call OPD at 270-687-8888, or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 270-687-8484.