City officials pass out Narcan in holiday gift bags in Lancaster, S.C.

Updated: Dec. 1, 2020 at 11:34 PM EST
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LANCASTER, S.C. (WBTV) - A holiday event of sorts for those in need of a helping hand. While food and supplies were passed out in the town of Lancaster, something else was in the gift bags – Narcan.

Narcan is the nasal spray people can use if someone nearby is overdosing on opioids. It’s such a problem in Lancaster County, town officials are passing it out to whoever needs it, even at a drive-thru Christmas party.

Caseloads for addiction have tripled in just the past year alone, according to Nickie Evans with the County Counseling Services, making Lancaster County one of the hardest hit areas in the entire state.

“It’s ridiculous how many people we’re losing.” Evans said.

Hardship comes in a lot of forms. A lack of food, healthcare, people everywhere are having a rough go of it lately. That’s why so many folks look forward to events like the one put on by Lancaster County.

And while some kids who are focused on what Santa’s going to bring them, others are facing their own demons.

Donnie Sims with the Lancaster City Police is concerned with the rise in cases he’s seeing.

“Opioid addiction is very prevalent in this county. And we want to give families the support they need to help their loved ones,” Sims said.

Because of the surge in drug overdose cases just this year - families received doses of Narcan. It’s used when people overdose on opioids - including fentanyl. An overdose can cause someone to stop breathing, literally suffocating to death.

Town officials say the county is one of the hardest hit by the crisis in the entire state of South Carolina.

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