Victims of 7 nonfatal overdoses involved 3 Hobart and William Smith students

Geneva and Canandaigua city police will address 7 overdoses that took place overnight Saturday and early Sunday in Ontario County at a press conference today at 11 a.m. The victims were saved; police are trying to work with them to learn more. Five of the overdoses took place in Geneva and two happened in Canandaigua.

A letter to Hobart and Hobart and William Smith Colleges students and staff said Geneva police and EMTs "identified a dangerous form of cocaine that may be laced with fentanyl in Geneva...three students were hospitalized with what is believed to be the result of this extremely dangerous drug combination.”

Here’s a copy of the letter HWS provided Messenger Post Media:

To the HWS Community,

The Colleges have been notified by the Geneva Police Department and EMTs that they have identified a dangerous form of cocaine that may be laced with fentanyl in Geneva. Fentanyl is an extremely strong synthetic opioid that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is 50-100 times stronger than morphine. While cocaine can cause death on its own, the CDC says that illicitly manufactured fentanyl “significantly increases the risk of death.” Often, those using the drug are unaware of the addition of fentanyl.

Overnight, three students were hospitalized with what is believed to be the result of this extremely dangerous drug combination. The Geneva Police Department believes that these incidents are related to other similar ones in the city.

If you or someone else appears to be intoxicated, unconscious and in need of help, call Campus Safety immediately at 315-781-3333<tel:315-781-3333>.

As a reminder, the Colleges have a Medical Amnesty Policy<>. In situations where students call for help for themselves, or a student (or group of students) seeks assistance for another student, the students involved will not be subject to the Colleges’ disciplinary actions for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies based on ingestion occurring at or near the time of the incident.

The safety and well-being of our community is of the utmost importance. Do not hesitate to call Campus Safety should you need assistance.

Catherine Williams
Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Earlier report:

The Geneva Police Department is investigating 5 opioid overdoses that took place in the city during a two-hour span in the early morning hours Sunday, Nov. 17. None of the 5 overdoses were fatal.

In investigating these overdoses, Geneva police are trying to work with the victims of the overdoses to gain further information. It has also been reported and confirmed after speaking with Canandaigua City Police Chief Stephen Hedworth that there were also 2 additional non-fatal overdoses in the city of Canandaigua overnight.

As of mid-day Sunday police were unable to determine if any of the 7 total overdoses are connected “but will be working diligently as we move forward with all local Law Enforcement Agencies to try and put the pieces together regarding this rash of overdoses,” stated Geneva Chief of Police Michael J. Passalacqua.

All 7 victims were saved by the use of NARCAN — life-saving emergency medication for opiate overdose.

“I want to take this time to thank the members of the Geneva Police Department, the Geneva Fire Department and EMS personnel who responded and assisted at these scenes overnight. There is little time to act when dealing with an OPIOID overdose and because of the training and the effective quick actions of all involved overnight, I can report that none of the 5 overdoses were fatal,” stated the police chief.

“I am asking that the community in Geneva come together to bring awareness of the dangers of OPIOID use to our community as a whole. The OPIOID crisis that we are in affects the entire community. If you or anyone you know is in need of help dealing with an OPIOID addiction, please reach out for help as there are several agencies within our community/area that can assist.”

FLACRA- 24/7 opioid Response Team – (833)-4-FLACRA or (833)-435-2272

Wayne Behavioral Health Network – Open Daily 7am-10pm- (315) 946-5750

If anyone has any information relating to these incidents please contact Detective Steven Vine at 315-828-6784 or by email at

In a release from Canandaigua City Police: Anyone with information regarding any of the overdoses is asked to contact Detective Dan Visingard at (585) 337-2107 or e-mail