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Potent New Drug on Scene?


ACR Health issued a Public Health Alert Thursday morning regarding W-18, a synthetic opioid that is stronger, cheaper, and deadlier than Fentanyl or heroin.  State Health officials warn that W-18 could be on the streets in Central New York and expressed concern that if W-18 overdoses occur, Narcan, as distributed, may not be enough to rescue the person overdosing.


Health officials contacted ACR Health following a meeting of the High Impact Drug Trafficking Areas of New York and New Jersey, a group consisting of Law Enforcement and Health Officials, and alerted ACR Health that W-18 may have arrived in the Syracuse area.  W-18 was previously found to be in use in the Philadelphia area in early July. 


Most importantly, the rescue drug Narcan (naloxone) is not as effective in reviving a person who is overdosing on W-18.  The standard protocol ACR Health uses to train and equip individuals with Narcan is 2 doses.  Health officials report that at least three intranasal doses may be necessary to rescue someone overdosing on W-18.


ACR Health strongly recommends that, if you encounter someone overdosing

  • Call 911 immediately – ambulance crews carry naloxone and extra doses man be necessary to save a life
  • Naloxone can be purchased without a prescription at pharmacies.  If you have been trained to use Narcan and know someone who uses opioids, consider increasing the amount of rescue drug you carry
  • New York has a Good Samaritan Law.  If you see an overdose, call 911 – you will not be arrested, even if you are in possession of illegal substances if you acted to save a life
  • ACR Health can help enroll individuals in treatment programs.  If you are ready to make a change, let us know and we will help you get into treatment.