The Garrard county coroner, Daryl Hodge, says the number of deaths linked to drugs and alcohol in his community is increasing at an alarming rate.
"A little more than one third of my deaths were alcohol and drug related," explains Hodge, "to date I've had 48 coroner calls, and of those calls 16 have been drug or alcohol related. Of those 16, all of them were under the age of 50. This number could increase too after I get back some toxicology reports that are still processing. This is just disturbing and alarming for our community."
Hodge says the most common toxicology report comes back with prescription painkillers. "Sixteen lives wasted because of this plague in our community. I have yet to have a teenager die from this but I'm waiting for that call."
The number of alcohol and/or drug related deaths have steadily increased throughout the years, however, Hodge says this year has been like none other. "I wish I could tell you this was going to get better, but unfortunately it is not."
We spoke to a handful of other counties as well and they say they are experiencing the same thing. Clark, Scott, Whitley, Lincoln, Jessamine, Madison and Garrard have all seen an increase in drug or alcohol related deaths year-over-year.
"If we don't do something about this it's going to kill off our youth."
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