Fighting Opioid overdoses on the front lines

Nearly 100 people a day are dying from opioid overdoses, it’s part of a growing issue that South Carolina is not immune to.

In the past 3 years, opioid related deaths have risen 18%. That crisis is causing police officers to equip departments with a overdose reversal drug known as Narcan.

Greenville Police used Narcan for the first time in 2016. In one year, they saved 9 people from overdoses. That numbers shows what a small part police officers play in the fight to stop overdoses.

DHEC tracks the number of times EMS deploys Narcan in each county. In 2016, Greenville County deployed Narcan more than 721 times. The other 9 Upstate counties combined deployed Narcan more than 1500 times in 2016.

The problem is, those numbers don’t accurately depict how many lives are saved. While the numbers of deployments of Narcan are shown, some patients take more than one dose of Narcan to be revived.

MedShore EMS in Anderson County let us ride with them, showing us exclusive access into what it takes to fight opioid overdoses.

To read statistics on the opioid epidemic, click here.