Opioid deaths rise in SC 47 percent in 3 years

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Health officials in South Carolina say the number of deaths blamed on opioid use increased 47 percent over three years.

News outlets reported the South Carolina Opioid Emergency Response Team released its first annual report on Thursday.

That report shows the increase in deaths between 2014 and 2017. The task force was created in late 2017 by Gov. Henry McMaster.

Statistics from the Department of Health and Environmental Control show that Charleston County had the highest number of deaths from opioid use in 2017.

The 2018 figures are not yet available. But Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said there were about 90 opioid deaths in the county last year.

State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel says many of the task force efforts are just starting.

Categories: News, State