Overdose deaths in Fayette County trending upward

MGN Online
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Nobody wants to find themselves in the back of a coroner van, but it is the place that many drug users in Fayette County are ending up.

From January to July of 2013, 53 people died from overdosing. The majority of them were men.

"It's a real problem and I some how expect it to get worse," says Ray Larson, the Commonwealth's attorney.

Of the drug users, 49 were white and only 4 were black.

"This is basically, a white guys issue," adds Larson.

Larson says the main culprit is heroin. In 2013, 32 of the overdose deaths involved heroin.

Larson believes there is only way to solve this problem, "We don't need new regulations. We need to just start punishing people for violating our laws and killing people."

Emergency responders from the Lexington Fire Department say the number of overdoses would be even higher if it weren't for the use Naloxone (Narcan).

"It's pretty much magical," says Captain Maria Roberts, with the Lexington Fire Department.

Fire officials typically inject the Narcan drug and within minutes say it can wake the unconscious.

"There's definitely been an increase over the last year or so. We probably average 1 to 3 times a day giving it. They aren't all overdoses but there is a good likelihood, at least one is every day," adds Roberts.

A few years ago, Captain Roberts says Narcan was only used once a day, sometimes every other day.

In 2012, the total number of overdose deaths was 63.

Here is the break down of the ages of the 53 overdose victims in 2013.

There were 14 people in their twenties. There were 21 people in their thirties. Five were in their forties. There were 12 in their fifties. One person was 60. No one in their seventies died from an overdose. One person in their eighties died from overdosing.

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