Drug Harm Reduction Kits available at Jefferson County Public Safety Building
The opioid and overdose epidemic has worsened both nationally and locally in recent years, with an upward trend recorded as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the increased addition of fentanyl to various drugs.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, between April 2020 and April 2021, the U.S. reached 100,000 lives lost to the opioid epidemic. In Jefferson County alone, 28 people died from overdoses in 2021, with four more toxicology reports pending.
In the previous year, the county lost 34 people to overdoses — only the tip of the iceberg, according to Anita K. Seefried-Brown, the Drug Free Community Program director for the Alliance for Better Communities. That does not take into consideration naloxone — brand name Narcan — reversals performed by first responders.