Increased Narcan availability credited with lower overdose deaths in Scott County
SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - First responders in Scott County have seen a sharp decline in the number of overdose deaths.
Officials say having more Narcan around is saving lives.
2020 and 2021 marked two of the worst years in recent history for overdose deaths losing in the county. Coroner Mark Sutton says the COVID pandemic was a contributing factor.
“You were locked in. People were out of work. Just dealing with the pandemic somehow could bring people down,” Sutton said.
In 2022, GSC EMS director Chris Runyon says the number of overdoes dropped from 33 deaths the year before to eight.
While they’re responding to a similar number of calls, they feel Narcan is now more available and is saving lives.
Local PD is now carrying Narcan, fire department is carrying Narcan, pharmacies. If people are prescribed an opiate, they’re given Narcan,” said Runyon.
Runyon says it’s inevitable that some people will use these illegal drugs, so he feels it’s important for them to have an open conversation with users about employing safer practices with the drug, like carrying Narcan.
“We work with the victim advocates program to make sure that these patients have follow-up,” Runyon said.
They treated 201 patients for overdoses in 2022, even more than in 2021. However, Runyon says because both first responders and users are becoming aware of and prepared for the dangers he hopes those numbers will continue to trend down.
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