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Concerning blue pills popping up in York County, other SC counties

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 7:12 AM EDT
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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - Problematic pills are popping up across the Palmetto state.

South Carolina’s Opioid Emergency Response Team (OERT) says 500 people have overdosed from a little blue pill called counterfeit Roxicodone. The agency says many of the deaths are people ages 20 to 29. Most have gotten it from a family member or friend who, apparently, did not know what they were giving out.

York County is one of the areas of concern, according to the OERT. Officials in the county next door, Lancaster County, say they are also having concerns knowing how close they are.

Karla Deese, the county coroner, is no stranger to drug overdose deaths, but this dubious drug has been on her mind lately.

”My fear is that’s gonna start spilling over into deaths and we’re gonna be inundated with them,” says Deese.

Her latest worry is nicknamed fake roxis. It looks just like the real prescription of Roxicodone, but it is not. Instead, officials say it is packed with cocaine and meth or fentanyl.

”That’s a massive massive industry right now,” says Deese.

South Carolina officials say Greenwood and Union are the state’s other blue pill overdose hotspots. Apparently, Greenwood and Union counties are concerning because they have the most overdoses from these pills per capita. Lancaster County, being so close to York County, could already have the pills there.

”It’s simply because the geographical nature of it. If it’s close to you it’s probably already here or on it’s way here,” says Deese.

Deese has already seen 22 overdose deaths, from a variety of drugs, this year. It is less than York County, sitting at 32. Chesterfield and Chester Counties come in under that at 11 and 3, respectively. Those numbers, Deese says, could go up. There are recent deaths she is still investigating. She says at least 11.

”To date I haven’t had anybody that’s died from it but one of those it might come back in there,” she says.

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