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Lee County health officials say recent spike in overdoses is due to 'smurf dope'

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jul 01, 2020

LEE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A recent spike in overdoses in Lee County has health officials urging people to carry Narcan.

There have been six overdoses in Lee County since Friday, according to Lee County Emergency Management Director Jonathan Allen. None of the overdoses were deadly.

“The opioid epidemic is very much alive. And as much with COVID-19 I think it’s been manifested even more because of the isolation,” said Allen

"Smurf Dope" is a mixture of methamphetamine or heroin and fentany and is to blame for the recent overdoses, according to health officials.

“It has a vibrant blue color. It’s been around for quite some time, however, it’s just now making its way into our area,” Allen said.

The practice of lacing fentanyl with other opioids is one of the reasons “smurf dope” is so dangerous, according to officials.

“Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine,” Kentucky River District Health Department Harm Reduction Specialist Brad Brewer said. “This is something that [drug] dealers are sneaking in and leading to a lot of deaths.”

“Smurf dope” has caused fatal overdoses in the past, but none of the six overdoses since Friday have been deadly, according to Operation Unite Rural Health Opioid Program Director JoAnn Vanzant. With the recent surge in overdose cases, she’s urging more people to carry Narcan

Naloxone HCI (Narcan) is an FDA approved medicine used to prevent opioid overdoses.

“You never know where you’re going to be when you can save a life,” said Vanzant.

The Kentucky River District Health Department has free Narcan kits available to the public at all local health departments in their area.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with treatment or needs information about treatment programs, you can reach out to Operation Unite at 866-908-6483 or to Operation Unite’s KY Help Statewide Call Center at 833-859-4357.