With overdoses rising, Scott County responders push help programs

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – Georgetown and Scott County are seeing an increase in drug overdoses and law enforcement and health professionals are reaching out to the community to try to address the issue.

“The Scott County area has experienced an increase in overdoses from illegal drugs. We have yet to identify a specific drug that is responsible for these overdoses and are awaiting toxicology reports,” Georgetown Police said in Facebook post.

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First responders whether the spike is related to the stresses of the coronavirus shutdown or a combination of other factors.

But they say two innovative local programs offer a hand up to those who will use them.

“Our GPD Angel Program is available and WEDCO’s needle exchange program can also provide resources for treatment. If you or someone you love is battling addiction we are here to help,” the Police Department said in its post.

The Angel Program was started in September 2017 and initially was modeled after a similar program in Jeffersonville, Ky. The program allows addicts who voluntarily come to the police department and ask for help to be screened and placed in treatment.

The program is a way for addicts and their families to take a big step toward help without arrest hanging over their heads.

The program is being called “Operation Hope” Angel Program because those involved say it looks to bring a little hope to those who may currently feel hopeless.

Meanwhile, the WEDCO Health Department, which servces Scott, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas counties started a needle exchange programm last JUly in Scott County.

The program aims at reaching out users and even if they won’t get help, at least they aren’t risking spreading disease by using dirty needles.

According to a report from July through December 2019, the average age of a participant was 31 with 52 percent men and 48 percent women. The health center distributed 232 Narcan kits, with 24 reported overdose reversals, it said in its report to county leaders.