‘Where there’s breath, there’s hope’: Nonprofit works to prevent fatal overdoses
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - An apparent spike in Charleston County overdoses has left a local organization urging awareness of drug abuse in the Lowcountry.
In the last 48 hours, WakeUp Carolina has been notified of five drug overdoses, three of which were fatal.
The nonprofit put out a spike alert on social media and wants the community to know about the resources they offer.
They claim preliminary toxicology results indicate cocaine and fentanyl as the drugs in this current spike.
According to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office, so far this year there have been 74 confirmed accidental fatal overdoses, and 40 pending suspected fatal overdoses.
This same timeframe in 2022 resulted in 85 confirmed accidental fatal overdoses.
If all 40 pending suspected fatal overdoses are in fact overdoses, that would mean the county is well over the number of overdoses this time last year, with 29 more overdoses than 2022 within the same time frame.
WakeUp Carolina makes overdose reversal tools, including Narcan and fentanyl testing strips, readily accessible for anyone that is at-risk or anyone that is a community caregiver.
Organizers train community members on how to use Narcan in their office and at overdose prevention trainings the second Wednesday of every month, and say there are no barriers to getting equipped or trained
The non-profit believes that where there’s breath, there’s hope.
“Narcan and fentanyl testing strips do not prevent drug use, they prevent death,” WakeUp Carolina Executive Director Nanci Steadman Shipman said. “They prevent the opportunity to gain access and support to resources. It’s important that the stigma is reduced with harm reduction methods, and it begins with us. One person at a time, one person having the conversation. You do not have to be touched by this to recognize the need to save a life and to prevent an overdose.”
WakeUp Carolina is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but they have someone on-call around the clock.
You can reach them at 843- 972-8154 and find them at 857 Coleman Blvd Suite D. in Mount Pleasant.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.