MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCBD) – Wednesday is National Overdose Awareness Day and the Berkeley County Coroner’s Office teamed up with the Kennedy Center to hand out free NARCAN and other supplies for Berkeley County residents.
Berkeley County officials are spreading awareness to help save lives.
“In observance of National Overdose Awareness Day,” Wehme Hutto, executive director of the Kennedy Center, said, “we’re having a Narcan and Deterra giveaway, and we’re also giving away fentanyl strips.”
They say Wednesday’s NARCAN giveaway is to address the recent uptick in overdoses they’ve seen in the area.
“Unfortunately,” Darnell Hartwell, Berkeley County’s chief deputy coroner, said, “on a daily basis, we see overdoses in Berkeley County. So, that’s what makes it so important for us to be able to have a partnership with them, to be able to reduce the opioids and drug overdoses we see here in Berkeley County.”
Hartwell says many of those overdoses have been deadly.
“This year,” Hartwell said, “we have seen an uptick in the overdose deaths here in Berkeley County. Just this morning, I had a mother in my office that was grieving due to her son dying from an opioid death just a few weeks ago.”
And the main culprit of those fatal overdoses is fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is definitely a drug that we’re seeing an uptick in,” Hartwell said. “It’s very deadly, very deadly.”
Now, leaders are working together to warn residents of just how dangerous the drug can be.
“One of the programs that the Kennedy Center,” Hartwell said, “and the coroner’s office provides is trying to educate the community and the public on how deadly that specific drug is to them.”
As well as, empower residents to help save others’ lives.
“What we want them to know is that they can save a life,” Hutto said.
“If there’s just one life saved today, it’s worth it for us,” Hartwell said.
The Kennedy Center has free NARCAN available every week, Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.