MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Police say 12 overdoses have been reported within 24 hours.
Heroin and pills are two of the drugs that officers say were used in these cases.
The overdoses also led to two deaths.
This unusual number of overdoses in Memphis and Shelby County has Memphis Police and local organizations concerned.
"In the past week we have definitely seen an increase above what’s normal. We’ve had 62 emergency medical responses with seven fatalities in the past seven days. So, that’s averaging one death a day. That’s more than normal,” said David Sweat, Shelby County Health Department chief of epidemiology.
David Sweat with the Shelby County Health Department says they’re seeing about 20 fatalities a month, related to overdoses.
Memphis Police Colonel Paul Wright with the Organized Crime Unit says there's currently no particular connection to the cases, but has a warning for those dealing.
"If you are apprehended out in the field by the Memphis Police Department with large quantities of drugs or heroin, you will be prosecuted and we do push for a high level of prosecution,” said Wright.
Health and law enforcement officials are highlighting events like the "Street Team for Overdose Prevention Program,” or STOP, where they distribute clean needles and Narcan.
Narcan is a drug that reverses an opioid overdose.
Ron Bobal with "A Better Way" says many drugs are laced with fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, and using Narcan is often times the only thing that can keep the person alive.
"If you know someone that's a user and they're not going to stop, encourage them not to use alone and to use with someone that has Narcan,” said Bobal
You can come to any Memphis Police precinct to drop off pills, no questions asked.
Here is a list of local treatment centers with for more information about Narcan training:
- Shelby County Health Department - (901) 222-9000
- Memphis Area Prevention Coalition - (901) 249-2828
- Tennessee Redline - (800) 889-9789
- Alliance Healthcare - (901) 369-1400
- CAAP, Inc. - (901) 360-0442
- Lakeside Behavioral Health - (901) 377-4700
- Serenity Recovery Centers (901) 521-1131