Thanks to WakeUp Carolina, 17 rotarians from the East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club are now trained in administering Narcan (naloxone), an opioid antagonist used for the complete or partial reversal of opioid overdose. Nate Lyles, Program Director at WakeUp Carolina, led the on-line training session during a recent Zoom meeting that the club has been holding on a weekly basis during the COVID pandemic.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, South Carolina had 835 drug overdose deaths involving opioids (a rate of 17.1) in 2018—an increase compared to the 628 (a rate of 13.1) deaths reported in 2016.
- Deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly fentanyl and fentanyl analogs) continued to rise from 404 (a rate of 8.5) in 2017 to 510 (a rate of 10.8) in 2018.
- Heroin-involved deaths remained unchanged over the past year but have trended up since 2014 with 183 (a rate of 3.8) reported in 2018.
- Deaths involving prescription opioids have remained steady with 375 deaths (a rate of 7.4) in 2018.
Rotary Club President-Elect Michelle Whitbeck says, “In the unfortunate event that one of our members who received the training does encounter an opioid overdose victim, they are now educated on what signs to look for and how to administer Narcan safely before paramedics arrive. It’s an important issue that is happening here in our own community. If we can help educate others on how to prevent drug abuse, we may be able to save a life.”
Another way to help prevent drug overdose is by disposing of any prescription drugs that are not being used or are expired. The Town of Mount Pleasant has a CVS Take-Back box located at the entrance of the police station at Town Hall, 100 Ann Edwards Lane.