More than 50 suspected drug overdoses have been reported in Austin

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Officials in Austin, Texas, are investigating an “outbreak” of deadly drug overdoses spreading across the city.
APD said overdose patients range in age from 20s to 50s and across racial/ethnic groups, KVUE reported.
Those who died from overdoses have not been identified but their ages range from mid-30s to mid-50s.
Abraham said the overdose patients reported using several different types of drugs but did not elaborate on the specific drugs.
It comes as a record number of Americans have died from drug overdoses.
In 2022, there were nearly 108,000 drug overdose deaths, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1% higher than the nearly 107,000 overdose deaths recorded in 2021.
Travis County had the fifth-highest number of provisional drug overdose deaths with 308 in 2022, mostly among white residents.
States have previously said fentanyl, the synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, may be driving an increase in overdoses and overdose deaths.


An “outbreak” of fatal drug overdoses that is sweeping throughout Austin, Texas, is being looked into by local authorities.

Local ABC News affiliate KVUE reports that as of Tuesday afternoon, the Austin Police Department (APD) and Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (ATCEMS) reported receiving 51 calls regarding suspected overdoses. Four suspected deaths were linked to the spike in calls.

APD stated that overdose victims come from all racial and ethnic backgrounds and range in age from the 20s to the 50s, according to KVUE. The ages of the people who overdosed and died range from the mid-30s to the mid-50s, although their identities are unknown.

Around 9:00 a.m., the call volume started to spike. m. Angela Carr, the head of ATCEMS’s EMS division, stated during a press conference on Monday night that they arrived on CT Monday morning and were centered in the downtown area. Later, calls started to come in from various locations throughout the city, including homes, workplaces, and public spaces.

Narcan rescue kits were distributed, according to Carr, and a team was sent to the scene right away. Narcan is administered as a nasal spray, and if someone is suffering from an opioid overdose, breathing can be rapidly restored thanks to the medication’s active ingredient, naloxone.

According to Dr. Heidi Abraham, deputy medical director for ATCEMS, the agency typically receives two or three overdose calls per day; however, the volume of calls on Monday was 1,000 times higher than usual.

At the press conference, she stated, “We’re seeing a trend with this group of overdoses: it’s unusually deadly.”. “This level of overdose hasn’t occurred in a number of years. “.

Abraham said that although the overdose patients did not specify which drugs they used, they did report using a variety of different kinds.

According to Christa Steadman, the public information officer for ATCEMS, officials believe the “outbreak” is caused by “a new batch in town,” most likely from the same source or a combination of sources, because patient symptoms are similar.

Officials promised to keep posting updates as soon as they become available.

It coincides with a record number of drug-related deaths among Americans. Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that there were approximately 108,000 drug overdose deaths in 2022, which is approximately 1 percent more than the nearly 107,000 overdose deaths reported in 2021.

Based on preliminary data from the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), the state’s drug poisoning death rate for 2022 is 15.04 per 100,000, the highest since at least 2011.

With 308 drug overdose deaths in 2022, Travis County had the fifth-highest number—mostly among white residents.

States have previously claimed that the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is 50–100 times more potent than morphine, could be the cause of an increase in overdoses and overdose deaths.

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