Doctor weighs in on overdose spike
Dose Of Reality{ }

ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) - It's been a week since a wave of drugs laced with Fentanyl hit the Capital Region, leading to dozens of overdoses and killing several people. 

Dr. Jason Kirby is the Medical Director of Addiction Services at St. Peter's Health Partners, who was on the front lines as those calls came in "I  was at Samaritan Hospital, I saw a lot of these patients who were admitted and we had good conversation," Dr. Kirby said. Of the nine patients admitted to Samaritan last week, Dr. Kirby says they were able to get some into treatment and discuss harm reduction practices with others. 

Dr. Kirby says unfortunately this kind of mass-overdose event could have happened even without the presence of Coronavirus. " It absolutely could have been and probably would have been still a reality," he said. Dr. Kirby says it should serve as a reminder that even during the pandemic, we've been fighting the opioid epidemic for years. "We cannot rest on our laurels to go backwards in that process and what happened in Troy and all the way into Clifton Park last week is a great example of that you know fentanyl is still here."

Despite all the hardship Dr. Kirby had one message for people and its one we've heard not only during the months of the pandemic, but in the years before: Help is available to anyone and everyone who wants it. "We're still open and we would still welcome folks who are struggling. I think that one of the biggest messages that I have to anybody who will listen to me is that its not a game over type of scenario. I know anxiety is high but there's still help out there. There's till people out there who want to help you along and make sure you do well.

If you're in need of help you can find resources on St. Peter's website or call 1-877-525-2CARE (2227).

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