Growing concern: Illicit fentanyl on Spartanburg County streets

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Tracking a dangerous and deadly trend in Spartanburg County. The sheriff there told 7 News cases involving fentanyl have gone up 20% so far this year.

A synthetic opioid is where our story begins.

“One thing I can tell you, fentanyl wherever it is, will kill you mister,” Spartanburg County Sheriff, Chuck Wright previously told 7 News.

It continues on the streets of Spartanburg County. Sheriff Chuck Wright told us it’s a daily battle, getting illicit fentanyl out of the upstate.

“We’ve even had some people come in who didn’t even use a whole pill but a portion of one and overdosed,” said Program Coordinator of Recovery Services with The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health, Audrey Colin.

Audrey Colin has seen this fatal trend firsthand. She works with people in recovery at The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health. She has chose this work because she told us, she has been through it all before and wants to help others.

“I really started drinking heavily and then got introduced to drugs as well. That partying lead to homelessness, being broke. I gone through a whole trust fund,” Colin told us.

Colin said over the past couple months, she has noticed more people overdosing on a fatal concoction.

“A lot of people are buying these, thinking they’re roxies but they’re pure fentanyl and they’re overdosing,” said Colin.

Spartanburg County Coroner, Rusty Clevenger told us he has been keeping a close eye on this upward trend.

“You can take and sprinkle the illicit fentanyl or the fentanyl that is pharmaceutical grade, you can sprinkle it on the marijuana and smoke it in a cigarette. If you sprinkle too much on there, it could kill you,” said Spartanburg County Coroner, Rusty Clevenger.

He said its cheap price tag could be playing a role in the rise of cases. Colin told us, harder access to the actual pharmaceutical drug could also be apart of that.

But as the trend continues upward, Colin said there are people who can help just like they did for her.

“I appreciate the community that took a chance on me,” Colin told 7 News.

Clevenger told us he is in constant contact with the sheriff and solicitor’s office to monitor the situation. He also mentioned they’re keeping track of where these overdoses are happening to try and gather information on a dealer.

If you or someone you know is living with addiction, there are resources in our community to help. For more information on the services offered at The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health, you can visit their website here:

https://www.theforrestercenter.org/

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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