Vegas health district issues warning about fentanyl deaths
LAS VEGAS — Health officials in Las Vegas warned Monday of a spike in deaths involving the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl and similar drugs, saying the region has had more than twice as many fentanyl overdoses this year than last year.
The Southern Nevada Health District counted 63 deaths involving fentanyl among Clark County residents since January, compared with 26 by this time in 2019.
The district said it recorded 64 fentanyl deaths in all of 2019, and 46 in 2018.
Acting chief health officer Dr. Fermin Leguen issued a statement calling fentanyl a growing public health risk.
He pointed to a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that family members, friends, and others close to people who may use opioids carry the overdose reversal drug naloxone, commonly known as Narcan.
The district says Clark County, like the rest of the U.S., is seeing fewer deaths involving prescription opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone and more involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl.