The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) said that it suspects that a contaminated shipment of street drugs has reached the region, and it could contain a potentially deadly dose of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.
YKHC issued a statement saying that over the past week there has been an increase in patients who require a larger than usual dose of naloxone, a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. The treatment is also known under the brand name Narcan.
YKHC encourages anyone who uses opioids, or is around people who use opioids, to have naloxone. It is available at the Bethel pharmacy and village clinics. It can be administered by a nasal spray or injected.
The health corporation encourages anyone who is administering naloxone to call 911 or their village clinic, especially if the person does not respond to an initial dose of the medication.