City of Gastonia and Gastonia Police Department Launch Campaign to Combat Fentanyl Abuse
City of Gastonia and Gastonia Police Department Launch Campaign to Combat Fentanyl Abuse; Joint Effort with Other Organizations to End Addiction Cycle.
Gastonia, North Carolina – June 21, 2022 – Gastonia Police Department (GPD), Gaston County Police Department, Gaston County Sheriff’s Office, Gastonia Fire Department, Gaston Emergency Medical Services (GEMS), and Gaston County District Attorney’s Office are requesting public assistance to battle drug-related overdoses and deaths in Gastonia and Gaston County.
Investigators with the Gastonia Police Department have discovered that Fentanyl coupled with narcotics (such as cocaine) that are not generally linked with Fentanyl or opioid usage has contributed to the city’s dramatic surge in overdoses.
“We know this is a major issue in our communities and while law enforcement works to get rid of this substance, we also want people to know the devastating impact on the lives of users and their families,” said Gastonia Police Chief Travis Brittain. “We all have to work together to get this substance out of our communities and direct users to get help.”
Statistics on Overdoses in Gaston County, North Carolina
- In 2020, the GPD examined 49 overdoses, of which 20 resulted in death.
- The number of overdoses rose by 69 percent in 2021, but the number of fatal overdoses stayed same at 20.
- From January 1 to June 14 of this year, the GPD examined 98 overdoses, 14 of which were fatal. If this pattern continues for the remainder of the year, the GPD will record around 200 overdoses and 29 overdose-related fatalities.
When First Responders respond to an emergency, more than one person is engaged. “It’s a common occurrence to have multiple patients at an overdose call. Where previously we just had one, now we may experience two or three patients,” said Deputy Fire Chief Brad Best.
Video Public Service Announcement
Representatives from the aforementioned organizations worked to produce a public service announcement (PSA) film outlining the alarming rise in drug-related overdoses and fatalities. The movie also includes a list of accessible assistance for individuals battling addiction. The eight-minute film will be shared on social media channels, YouTube channels, and by other partner organizations.
The City of Gastonia and the Gastonia Police Department are requesting that media outlets use the film and its content to spread this message.
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Read more on: Sober Living in Gastonia, North Carolina