The Elmira Police Department is warning heroin and opiate users that there is a lethal product that may be being distributed in Elmira.
This comes after Elmira Police responded to five opioid-related incidents over the weekend.
“We don’t know in all the instances if it was pills and/or heroin,” Sgt. William Solt of the Elmira Police Department said. “But it’s definitely opioid based.”
All five patients were revived through medical intervention. But now, police are issuing warnings to not only the users, but others who might be witness to a opioid-related overdose.
“Please do not touch them (drugs or related paraphernalia),” Sgt. Solt said. “You can get fentanyl or other substances absorbed through the skin, which could be fatal or harmful to you.”
At one instance of a drug overdose this weekend, police say a person had moved drugs and related evidence. Not only is that a health risk to themselves and others, but police say that hinders their attempts to prevent future overdoses.
“We’re asking you to not do that when you call 911, you’re not going to get into trouble if it (drugs or paraphernalia) present when we arrive,” Sgt. Solt said. “It’s better for us to collect that stuff and try and track that as best as possible.”
Residents are urged to call 911 immediately if they believe someone is suffering from an overdose. They are also asked to leave all signs of drug use as they are found; items may help identify a certain product that the public can be alerted to.
Aside from issuing the public health warning, police want people who may be a witness to a drug overdose to not hesitate to call 911, as they’re protected under the state’s Good Samaritan law.
“It (the law) says that if you do call 911, you will not be prosecuted, even if we show up to a scene and there’s drug paraphernalia or things of that nature present,” Sgt. Solt said. “You’re calling 911 to save a life, so that’s the important thing.”
Anyone with information about this potential public health concern is asked to contact the Elmira Police Department at (607) 737-5626 or leave information on the anonymous tip line at (607) 271-HALT.