Fatal overdoses prompt county to issue public health alert

WESTMINSTER, Md. — Authorities in one Maryland county have issued a public health alert after four people died from drug overdoses.

The Carroll County Times reported that the health officials in the county seat of Westminster sent out the alert Friday. It warned that heroin, cocaine and counterfeit pain and anxiety pills may be laced with fentanyl. The synthetic opioid can be deadly, even in small doses. Carroll County is northwest of Baltimore.

Sheriff Jim DeWees said authorities could speculate the deaths were the result of heroin laced with fentanyl. But he said officials won’t know until the toxicology reports come back.

The alert also reminded residents of laws in Maryland that shield someone from being arrested or prosecuted for certain crimes if they help someone experiencing a drug-related medical emergency.


Information from: Carroll County Times , http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/