Charleston Co. monthly opioid overdose rate doubles after 1 year

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 12:48 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2021 at 1:33 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County says they are seeing more opioid overdoses and fatalities than in previous years.

The county’s Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, otherwise know as the Charleston Center, says there have been 141 overdoses and 11 fatalities in June of 2021 alone.

The center says those are double the numbers recorded in June 2020, and the June 2020 numbers were already a record 12 month high in overdoses.

While overdoses are up in the Lowcountry, the Charleston Center say overall overdose deaths are down.

The center attributes the glimmer of hope to the availability of Narcan, a drug designed to save the lines of people dying from an overdose.

Charleston Center Program Administrator Caitlin Kratz says the center has been taking some new approaches to combat these rising numbers.

Across the Tri-County, the Charleston Center says there have been 219 overdoses and 14 fatalities in June 2021.

Kratz says they are monitoring trends and using targeted Narcan distribution efforts in high overdose hot spots. Additionally, she says quick responses from law enforcement, grassroots community involvement and increased access to treatment services will hopefully help with the crisis.

With state and federal funding, Kratz says they will provide fentanyl test strip distribution to help substance users know if they are being exposed to fentanyl which is the leading causes of overdoses.

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