There has been 18 deaths due to opioid overdose in Scott County this year, said Brandon Remley, director of the county’s Emergency Management Services.
That number equals the number of county deaths last year attributed to an opioid overdose with four weeks remaining in this year.
Emergency responders have administered Narcan 67 times this year, compared to 90 injections in 2018. Narcan or naxloxone, is a medication used to block the effects of opioids. Since the effectiveness of the drug has become better known its cost has increased from $7 per dose in 2012 to $35 in 2018.
Even though the opioid numbers are alarming, Remley said he believes addicts are turning from opioids to other drugs.
“We are seeing a lot of meth (methamphetamine) and cocaine use increase,” he said. “One of the big problems with those drugs are the substances that are added to those drugs by the dealers. They make the drugs very unpredictable and especially deadly.”
The 2018 Overdose Fatality Report published by the Justice & Public Safety Cabinet reports most central and eastern counties in Kentucky have seen a shift from opioid use to increased meth use. The 2018 report states 1,247 deaths were attributed to opioid overdose in Kentucky. The statewide overdose dose rate for all drugs dropped 15 percent, while overdose cases of methamphetamine rose by nearly 20 percent.