Kalamazoo County Drug Alert

Dear Campus Community,

We wanted to alert you that local authorities are investigating more than a dozen nonfatal drug overdoses and likely six drug-associated deaths that occurred in the Kalamazoo area last week. A suspected lethal batch of the synthetic opioid fentanyl and cocaine are among the multiple substances authorities are investigating in connection with the overdoses and fatalities, according to Kalamazoo County health officials.

We are not aware of any Kalamazoo College community members being involved or directly impacted by any of incidents, but the College community is not immune to this threat. We implore you to take precautions, especially as you attend parties and otherwise socialize.

If you suspect someone has overdosed on a substance, don’t hesitate to call for help. Medical amnesty protects anyone seeking medical help for themselves or anyone else who may have consumed drugs or alcohol.

Fentanyl has been a rising threat across the nation, state and in the Kalamazoo area. The following are facts on this potent, potentially deadly substance.

  • Fentanyl can be present in a variety of forms (powder, tablets, capsules, solutions and rocks).
  • Inhalation of airborne powder is most likely to lead to harmful effects but is less likely to occur than skin contact.
  • NARCAN (naloxone) nasal spray is an effective medication that rapidly reverses the effects of fentanyl. Cope Network provides FREE NARCAN kits and will be doing a FREE on campus training/distribution event later in spring quarter.  Anyone can purchase NARCAN directly from a pharmacy without a prescription from a doctor.
  • County health officials emphasize that the risk of a fatal overdose remains ongoing for people who use both stimulant drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamines, as well as depressant drugs, such as fentanyl or other opioids.

If you, a peer or a family member is being impacted by substance use, please reach out to Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health at (800) 781-0353 for assistance.

Thank you for your attention to this important information.

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