Overdoses increase 150% in Greenville, fire officials say

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Officials with Greenville Fire and Rescue say they are seeing an increase in overdoses in the city.

They’ve responded to 35 overdoses so far in the month of June, officials say that number is actually up 150% — they say they saw about 14 overdoses in June of 2018.

Fire chief Eric Griffin said, “We’ve seen a few cases already this year where people are dead.”

Griffin says it’s mainly from opioids.

Griffin said, “If someone doesn’t find them and call 911 in a timely manner, their heart stops beating and they stop breathing.”

Just about every time, the drug Narcan is used but recently, Griffin said it doesn’t work in some cases.

Narcan is a drug that reverses the effect of an opioid; Griffin says they’re not sure why it hasn’t been working in some cases.

They think there’s some opioid people are taking that the Narcan isn’t responding to, or it could be an overdose on something that isn’t an opioid.

Fire and Rescue is working with Greenville Police to try and get these drugs off the streets.

Griffin says the opioid problem is impacting young people, many 20 year olds to about 34 year olds.

Griffin said, “There is something going on in our community and we want to reduce that as much as possible”

And not just locally, opioid use is a problem state wide.

Governor Roy Cooper recently announced a $12 million grant to fight the opioid epidemic in our state.

That money is being used for prevention and access to treatment.

Cooper said, “Many rural areas don’t have the treatment that can help people get off of these drugs.”

Back at home, Fire and Rescue wants you to know there are resources that can help you if you’re addicted to drugs.

Griffin said, “When we start seeing things like these overdoses increasing, it’s just going in the wrong direction but we want to make sure we are keeping our community safe.”

Don’t forget about the Good Samaritan law — it can legally protect you if you help someone in danger of an overdose.

You can call 911 if you think someone is overdosing.

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