Large increase in drug overdoses and deaths reported from fentanyl
As we continue to look back on 2021, one of the big continuing news stories was the big increase in drug overdoses and deaths. Many of these were attributed to a trend in fake Roxicodone pills, known as fake roxies. The counterfeit pills contain highly potent fentanyl, which is similar to morphine but 50-100 times more potent. The pills also can contain cocaine or meth. Since January 2020, more than 500 suspected opioid overdoses statewide have involved the blue pills. Nearly 2/3 of all incidents took place in the Upstate counties. Union County, along with Greenwood and Abbeville counties, saw some of the highest per-capita rates of overdoses during that time. The SC Opioid Emergency Response Team issued an advisory to the county about the fake pills and urged the public to take medications seriously and use them only as prescribed.