SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster recently recognized 24 members of the Summerville Police Department for their life-saving work administering naloxone, which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
The opioid epidemic is rampant across South Carolina, with 1,100 drug overdose deaths reported statewide in 2019; over 75% involved opioids. According to the Summerville Police Department, that number is expected to rise in the next annual report.
In Summerville alone, Summerville Police Department officers responded to 162 overdose calls since January of 2019. Thanks in part to the LEON program, only 14 have been fatal. However, the Summerville Police Department believes that is 14 too many.
The statewide Law Enforcement Officers Naloxone (LEON) program teachers officers how to recognize an overdose and administer the drug in an emergency situation. Since the program began in 2016, it has helped save nearly 2,400 lives.