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Presentation reveals overdose deaths increase in Chatham Co.

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 5:48 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The presence of a dangerous drugs on the streets in Chatham County continues to be an issue for Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics (CNT) agents.

In August, CNT with the help of other local law enforcement agencies, seized nearly 600 grams of fentanyl from suspected dealers, an amount CNT’s director calls drastically high.

The bulk of the heroin and fentanyl seized over the past two months came from two arrests, according to Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Director, Michael Sarhatt.

The first came from Savannah Police investigating a stolen credit card, the other from a Pooler Police traffic stop. Both instances happened in August, and allowed investigators to get 455 grams of fentanyl off the street.

Director Sarhatt says the toll the drug takes continues to increase here in Chatham County. This time last year, there were 22 overdose deaths in the county. Right now, Sarhatt says in the same time frame there have been 43 overdose deaths.

They’re also using more emergency medicine to save people from overdoses. As of the end of last month, they used over three hundred doses of Naloxone. They only used a little more than 80 doses this time last year.

First responders are happy to have that medicine on hand, not just to treat patients, but in case they need it too.

Sarhatt added in the last two months, three first responders have been sent to the hospital because of a fentanyl exposure.

“Not only is this Naloxone important for our first responders to treat individuals on the scene, it’s very important that we keep our first responders safe. So dual purpose there,” Sarhatt said.

Director Sarhatt told County Commissioners his agency just got a 25-thousand dollar grant to buy more Naloxone to distribute not only in Chatham County, but also in Bryan and Effingham counties to first responders.

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