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Fentanyl in Aiken County, Margaret Key, Executive Director at AIKEN COUNTY COMMISSION ON ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE

October 23, 2023 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am

Margaret Key will talk about about how they are working to prevent fentanyl overdose in Aiken County. During a mental health and substance abuse symposium at Cedar Creek Church, Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center, Aiken Center, community and law enforcement agencies expressed concern with the increase of overdose deaths. “We are very much trying to stay on top of new and synthetic drugs that are out there in our county,” said Margaret Key, executive director for the Aiken Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Services. In 2022, there were 90 accidental overdose deaths in Aiken County with 80 percent from fentanyl. There were 63 in 2021 and 74 in 2020. Aiken County Coroner Darryl Ables said there have already been 24 overdoses this year.

“Last year was the highest number that my office has recorded, and so far we are trending to have just as many or more (this year),“Ables said. Ables said most of the deaths have been due to fentanyl and Xylazine mix. Xylazine is a horse tranquilizer and is used as a sedative, Key said. Key said Xyalzine is being added to the drug because it gives someone a different type of high. “We’re continuously trying to step up our game in terms of serving a higher volume in the number of people and the quality care, treatment and curricula,” she said.

Ables said the depressant drug benzodiazepine is a new concern in overdoses and the first overdose death from that drug was reported recently. “We see the majority of the cases are relating back to fentanyl, (but) it seems like a lot of cases with benzodiazepine are starting to increase,” he said. Ables said Narcan can not be used to treat benzodiazepine and Xylazine overdoses.

Key said there have been concerns about the rise in overdoses and how to treat the mixture of certain drugs, and noted the best option is to call 911.



October 23, 2023
8:30 am - 9:30 am
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Newberry Hall
117 Newberry St SW
Aiken, SC 29801 United States
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