Edgefield County educates community as drug overdoses spike


NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) — South Carolina is battling a rise in drug overdoses. In the last five years, the number of overdose deaths has more than doubled. Edgefield County is seeing this firsthand.

“I’ve noticed over the last year or so, the number of overdoses in Edgefield County has been spiking,” Edgefield County Sheriff Jody Rowland said. “In the last few months, it’s really been spiking.”

The Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office and Cornerstone held a luncheon Tuesday where they educated people about Narcan and how to administer it.

Rowland says the Merriweather area has become a target for drugs.

“We stopped a small meth lab last night less five miles from here. So, it’s here. It’s in the community.”

“It’s not just a big city problem,” Allen Easler, Cornerstone’s prevention coordinator, added. “It’s a small town problem.”

It is a problem the county is hoping to solve with events like this where they can educate people about overdoses and try to eliminate the stigma surrounding addiction.

“This is a chronic medical condition, just like diabetes and high blood pressure,” Easler explained. “It can be treated.”

If they can save even one life, they say their work is worth it.

“If we just save one out of this, we’ve accomplished something,” Rowland said.

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