St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston is sounding the alarm after three apparent overdose deaths since Saturday (February 4, 2023) evening, a 39-year-old male in Bush, a 34-year-old male in Pearl River, and a 37-year-old male in Slidell have died of suspected opioid overdoses. Autopsies will be conducted Monday (February 6, 2023) and toxicology reports will take a few weeks, but Preston and Coroner’s Office investigators believe the deaths will be due to overdoses.
“Last summer, we had two unrelated young people in different parts of the parish die of overdoses in a 12-hour period, and toxicology reports confirmed both expired from consumption of Fentanyl,” Preston said. “This weekend’s surge is equally alarming.”
In recent months, investigators around the country have found Fentanyl – arguably the deadliest drug in the world – included in numerous other street drugs, including marijuana. It has also been discovered in pill form, masquerading as other, legal substances.
“The mantra that ‘one pill can kill’ isn’t just a slogan,” Preston said. “Unless it comes from a pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription, you shouldn’t put it in your body.”
Preston said habitual drug users or addicts should seek help immediately, and avoid the narcotics currently being peddled on the streets of St. Tammany Parish. Family and friends of illicit drug users should also be particularly alert, and should stock Narcan if possible; when administered quickly after an overdose, Narcan can often reverse an opioid overdose.