STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Jackson County emerges from opioid overdose 'Yellow Alert'

Public health officials have decided to lift the alert status, indicating that the number of overdoses from illicit opioids has dropped to 'normal' levels.

Posted: Jan 21, 2020 11:54 AM
Updated: Jan 21, 2020 12:02 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — After more than four weeks on heightened alert for overdoses from illegal opioids, Jackson County Public Health says that it has decided to lift the "Yellow Alert" status that it has kept in place.

Public health officials first issued a "Red Alert" on December 21 after a rash of both fatal and non-fatal overdoses in the area, saying that they suspected heroin being circulated in the community may have been mixed with the incredibly potent synthetic opioid, fentanyl.

In the midst of that spike, local organizations like Max's Mission redoubled their efforts to distribute naloxone (Narcan), the medication that can reverse an opioid overdose and dramatically reduce the risk of death.

Two weeks later, as the number of overdoses began to drop slightly, Jackson County lowered the alert level to Yellow. However the number of overdoses seen by law enforcement and emergency services remained at "higher than expected levels," so the alert level stayed in place for weeks afterward.

On Tuesday, Jackson County Public Health at last lifted the overdose Yellow Alert, meaning that the number of overdoses has returned to normal or expected levels.

Officials are still encouraging those who use illegal opioids to consider the following:

  • Abstaining from drug use is the best way to eliminate the risk of overdose. Ask the person about their willingness to begin medication-assisted treatment or drug treatment. For a list of providers, you can access the Stay Safe Oregon website.
  • Those who haven’t used in a while may relapse and are at increased risk of an overdose. It is important to be aware of your tolerance and reduce the amount you might normally use.
  • Have an overdose plan; make sure someone can get to you when you use, and it is safest only to use when you are with someone you trust. Don’t use behind a closed door!
  • BE PREPARED. GET NALOXONE. SAVE A LIFE. You can get naloxone through these avenues: Any pharmacist in Oregon can prescribe naloxone for you. Anyone who can prescribe medication can send a naloxone prescription to your pharmacy. People who utilize the Syringe Exchange Program can receive free naloxone. Free naloxone is available through Max’s Mission community meetings and events.
  • It is important to call 911 when someone is overdosing from opioids. If you use naloxone, the effects are temporary, and the person still needs medical attention. Very potent “heroin” may require many doses. After the medication wears off, the person could fall back into a coma.
  • If you call police or 911 to get help for someone having a drug overdose, Oregon’s Good Samaritan Law protects you from being arrested or prosecuted for drug-related charges or parole/probation violations based on information provided to emergency responders.
  • It is important not to mix drugs because drugs taken together can interact in ways that increase their overall effect and increase your risk of overdosing.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32994

Reported Deaths: 547
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7204138
Marion469594
Washington454060
Umatilla298741
Clackamas242061
Malheur163327
Lane123417
Jackson11615
Deschutes85212
Yamhill76213
Jefferson5418
Polk53215
Linn52213
Morrow5056
Lincoln48213
Union4462
Benton3146
Wasco2963
Klamath2802
Hood River2520
Douglas2334
Clatsop2170
Josephine1982
Columbia1791
Coos1570
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook530
Lake330
Curry310
Wallowa311
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 812711

Reported Deaths: 15633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2684556515
Riverside589321206
San Bernardino54482925
Orange534481216
San Diego46734776
Kern31994369
Fresno28441382
Sacramento22356406
Santa Clara21241314
Alameda21240406
San Joaquin20245441
Contra Costa16640206
Stanislaus16471356
Tulare15970263
Ventura12775150
Imperial11852317
San Francisco11195101
Monterey995372
San Mateo9897150
Santa Barbara9090113
Merced8872142
Kings765180
Sonoma7412122
Marin6730118
Solano640065
Madera453965
Placer358745
San Luis Obispo356229
Butte283344
Yolo281555
Santa Cruz23609
Sutter170511
Napa169013
San Benito134811
Yuba11537
El Dorado11304
Mendocino93418
Shasta88317
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5735
Lake55511
Nevada5377
Colusa5316
Humboldt5088
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
Brookings
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 56°
Crater Lake
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 49°
Grants Pass
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Klamath Falls
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 49°
Hot and dry week, smoke returns
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Tuesday, September 29th Evening Weather

Image

MEDFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT RESPONDS AFTER EXPLICIT 'ZOOM BOMBING'

Image

Tuesday, September 29 morning weather

Image

Possible housing solutions after wildfires

Image

Monday, September 28th Evening Weather

Image

Similarities in days had southern Oregonians on edge

Image

Monday, September 28 afternoon weather

Image

Monday, September 28 morning weather

Image

Sunday, September 27 evening weather

Image

Sunday, September 27 morning weather