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2016 data shows increase in opioid deaths in Scott County

Photo: Drug Enforcement Administration / MGN
Photo: Drug Enforcement Administration / MGN(WKYT)
Published: Jan. 24, 2017 at 3:44 PM EST
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Data from 2016 shows a disturbing trend in Scott County that's been seen in communities across the state.

The number of overdoses caused by opioids rose from 2015 to 2016, and a larger percentage of those have been deadly.

There were 125 overdose patients treated by Georgetown-Scott County EMS this past year, up from 98 in 2015.

Georgetown-Scott County EMS Director Brandon Remley said there were five deaths from opioids in 2015. That number increased to 20 in 2016.

Remley says because of the increase, crews are now more prepared. Crews are aware that when they're called out for an unconscious person, there's a strong possibility that it's due to an opioid overdose.

Being more accustomed to these types of runs one change seen, another change seen in money spent on medication to save the overdose victims.

"In 2016 we spent right around six thousand dollars on Narcan alone," said Remley.

That is more than one thousand dollars greater than what was spent on the medication the previous year.

"We have seen a dramatic increase in the price of Narcan. Several years ago we were paying about ten dollars a dose currently we are paying about 35 dollars a dose," said Remley.

Carrying a hefty price tag for crews, however the consequences of not having it far greater.

"We have to have it," said Remley.

A tool necessary as they say they work, watching first hand the toll this is all taking on their community.

"Unfortunately, it is a sad epidemic. We go into homes everyday and we see the impact it is having on the families. The children that are distraught seeing us carry out their parents, their brothers, their sisters. I think the psychological impact of that we will see many years on down the road," explained Remley.

EMS crews say they are hoping for a decrease this year, however are certainly prepared to once again see numbers grow in 2017.