LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Lexington first responders are working around the clock, battling an increase in overdoses since the pandemic began.
In May 2020, the Lexington Fire Department responded to nearly a record 200 overdoses, compared to just 79 overdoses at the same time in 2019.
To combat the problem, the Lexington Fire Department created a paramedic response team. The team consists of firefighters, paramedics, social workers and a police detective.
The team crisscrosses the streets every week, going door to door to visit people previously resuscitated by the department after an overdose.
They educate people on how to use overdose recovery kits, known as Narcan, and encourage those in need to seek treatment.
“We have so many people who are really struggling to survive day to day, go to work and earn a living, but still struggle with addiction, still struggle with disease and it’s still such a struggle for them and everything. what we can do as a community to support them is important,” said Seth Lockard, Captain Lexington Fire Department.
Lockard also said he thinks the pandemic’s halt to in-person addiction meetings may be a factor in the uptick, but said their outreach program appears to be working as the high number of overdoses is slowly starting to decline. .
Firefighters responded to 100 overdoses in December 2021.
To find out how to help or if you need help, visit LexingtonFireDepartment.com.
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