You Paid For It: Charleston County budgets money to fight opioid crisis

VIDEO: You Paid For It: Charleston County budgets money to fight opioid crisis

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Spending reports for Charleston County show multiple lines listed as payments for opioid treatment.

As lawmakers and doctors push for better ways to fight our nation’s opioid crisis, emergency responders are often first on the scene of an overdose. And they need expensive, life-saving medical supplies on hand at all times.

Making sure first responders and detox workers are equipped to save lives costs thousands of dollars each week.

Charleston County EMS and the county’s Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services budgets a lot of money every month to fight the opioid crisis.

For example, the county spent more than $40,000 in January, nearly $20,000 in February, and about $18,655 in March on opioid reversals, training costs, and contracted services for opioid treatments.

During a year-long time frame from March last year to February this year, Charleston County EMS says they had 576 interventions where rescue workers administered Narcan, a life-saving drug that can reverse an overdose.

Those 576 Narcan uses were on 441 patients; 164 of the cases specifically involved herion overdoses.

Those numbers only represent EMS cases…. Law enforcement, fire and hospital numbers mean there are likely even higher numbers in our community.

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