Jessamine County

Nine heroin overdoses reported in 24 hours in Jessamine County. ‘It’s a mess.’

Nicholasville experienced a surge in heroin overdoses Monday and Tuesday, said Aaron Stamper, chief of Jessamine County Emergency Services.

“It’s a mess right now,” Stamper said shortly before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. “We’ve had five overdoses in the last eight hours, and I think in the last 24 hours, we’ve had nine overdoses.”

There was one suspected drug overdose death Saturday, but the overdoses that happened Monday and Tuesday did not result in death, said Jessamine County Coroner Mike Hughes.

Stamper said Jessamine County has seen spikes in overdose cases before, but they are usually spread out over time.

“Where it’s this concentrated right now, it’s a little bit unsettling for us,” Stamper said. He couldn’t say whether the heroin was a purer concentration or whether it was mixed with animal tranquilizers, as has been the case elsewhere across the country.

“It looks like we’re dealing with a different batch that has come in,” Stamper said. “We’re dealing with a big uptick in our overdose cases.”

All but two of the overdoses were within the Nicholasville city limits. The victims were typically in their 20s through 40s, Stamper said. Some of the victims were found passed out in vehicles pulled off to the side of the road or in parking lots.

Mount Sterling and Montgomery County had a spate of 12 heroin overdoses, including one death, during a 24-hour period in late August. Larger metropolitan areas including Huntington, W.Va., and Cincinnati also experienced a spike in overdose cases last summer.