Schenectady sees spike in overdoses

Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Since last Thursday, Schenectady has had 14 overdoses — nine of which happened this past Saturday. Unfortunately, one person died over the weekend.

“One overdose is a lot, but 14 is very concerning,” said Sgt. Nick Mannix.

According to Mannix, this is an issue that the Schenectady Police Department is continuing to investigate. A vast majority of recent overdoses are being linked to a cocaine derivative.

“It seems to be a bad batch of crack cocaine — some type of cocaine-based product that is laced with fentanyl and that’s been the scary part about it. Fentanyl is kinda creeping it’s way into almost everything,” explained Mannix.

New Choices Recovery Center is seeing an increase in people seeking help.

“We actually had nine walk-ins this Friday morning at eight in the morning,” stated Martina Swiers, a Substance Abuse Counselor. “We do an assessment, which is just a conversation with us. You’d sit down with one of us clinicians and you’d have a talk about your use, where you’re at in life right now— the different aspects and factors that are going on, and from there, we see how we can serve you.”

New Choices also helps family members of those with substance abuse disorders, even offering free Narcan training.

“It’s really easy to use. It’s an opioid antagonist. It’s a squirt in each nostril, and it helps to revert an opiate overdose,” explained Swiers.

And when it comes to crack cocaine?

“If the crack cocaine is adulterated with fentanyl, which we seem to be seeing a lot of, then yes, this will help.”

Schenectady Police say, they too, are a community resource.

“All you have to do is walk into the police lobby and just ask for help,” said Mannix. “I’m more than willing to help anybody. Anybody who walks in here.”

New Choices walk-in hours are Monday-Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and Friday at 8 a.m.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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