Carroll County Health Department warns of recent uptick in potential overdoses

In the past 24 hours, there have been four potential overdoses in Carroll County, according to the Carroll County Health Department.

The health department said the string of overdoses could be due to a number of factors, but often are related to heroin or cocaine laced with fentanyl or carfentanil, according to a news release.


Counterfeit pain and anxiety pills may also be laced with fentanyl, and the pills are disguised to look like “commonly abused” medications like Percocet, oxycodone, Xanax and others, according to the release.

Fentanyl and carfentanil are synthetic opioids and, according to the release, even a very small amount can be deadly.

The health department urges caution to first responders, who, according to the release, should “utilize appropriate personal protective equipment when handling carfentanil due to the drug’s ability to be absorbed through the skin. As a result, carfentanil could pose a grave danger to law enforcement and other first responders encountering the drug in an emergency medical situation.”

Signs and symptoms of exposure to carfentanil are consistent with opioid toxicity and include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Respiratory depression (shallow or absent breathing)
  • Depressed mental status (dizziness, lethargy, sedation or loss of consciousness)
  • Gastrointestinal irritation (nausea, vomiting)
  • Cardiovascular failure (weak or absent pulse and cold, clammy skin)

More than two doses of naloxone may be needed to revive someone who overdoses while using these drugs, according to the release.

Signs of an opioid overdose include:

  • Person is not responsive
  • Breathing is slow, shallow or stops
  • Gurgling or snoring noises
  • Fingertips or lips turn blue or gray

According to the release, if a person provides help or assists a person experiencing a medical emergency due to alcohol or drugs, that person is “criminally immune” from being charged, arrested and prosecuted for certain crimes.

Places to get treatment include:

  • Call the Carroll County Health Department, Bureau of Prevention, Wellness and Recovery at 410-876-4449 during business hours and speak with a service coordinator for available resources.
  • You may also call the Maryland Crisis Hotline 24/7 by dialing 211 and pressing 1. For more information, visit

To register for a free naloxone training, call Access Carroll at 410-876-4800.