GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCBD) – The Georgetown County Sheriff is addressing the opioid and fentanyl crisis by hosting a community forum on Thursday evening.

 “Opioids and fentanyl are pouring across our Mexican border into this country – and that has to be stopped,” said Sheriff Carter Weaver.

In 2021 alone, Sheriff Weaver said his office took 168 overdose calls for service. This year, however, he said the numbers are decreasing thanks to Narcan which is a drug that reverses opioid overdoses.

“I think with the introduction of Narcan, that has reduced overdose calls for service and possibly deaths. Not only here locally, but at the state and national level,” explained the sheriff.

The sheriff will be joined by a panel of experts during his community forum, including Dr. Ryan Galica who leads the Interventional Pain Management Department at Tidelands Health.

 “Physicians are making efforts to cut back on opioid prescribing and one of the ways we can do that is with interventional pain treatments which is what we specialize in, so we try to put a focus on that to reduce the reliance on opioid medications and offer pain relief without addictive substances,” explained the doctor.

As for fentanyl, Sheriff Weaver said it only takes a small amount to become deadly.

“Fentanyl now is being added to fake pills, such as OxyContin pills,” said Sheriff Weaver. “Fentanyl is being added to counterfeit Adderall pills which is a stimulant. You see a lot of children taking these fake pills and they’re dying from them.”

Sheriff Weaver plans to continue hosting forums on this topic. The meeting will take place at First Baptist Church of Georgetown at 219 Cleland Street. It begins at 6:30 pm.