Rising drug problems cause Spartanburg Co. coroner to warn public

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA)- A record number of drug-related deaths this year has the Spartanburg County coroner’s office sending a message about new drug trends.

36 people in the county have already died just this year due to drug overdose, the coroner says, and potentially 11 more this past week.

“This is a glaring problem in our county currently,” Spartanburg Co. coroner Rusty Clevenger says.

Friday Clevenger addressed one of the biggest issues with drugs he says we are facing right now.

Clevenger says , “We’ve got a real problem with drugs that people, our citizens, assume are safe right now.”

He says the coroner’s office has discovered a trend; recreational drugs being disguised as prescription or over-the counter pills.

“They think that if it is stamped correctly, shaped correctly, has the correct color, that it is manufactured by a pharmaceutical company. That is not the case now,” Clevenger says.

“It’s highly toxic to your system, it will kill you,” Clevenger adds.

He says people impacted range in age from mid-teens to 60’s, but the majority of drug deaths, he says, are people 15 to 27.

Clevenger saying, “Our young adults whose parents do not even suspect are taking drugs or anyone for that matter are taking a drug they buy off the street they coin, or think is safe.”

He’s asking the public to think before you take anything someone gives you, even if it looks ok.

“Please take a moment. Please check these pills. If you don’t get them from a pharmacy or if they’re not prescribed by your physician, if they’re not straight from the pharmacy, don’t take these pills,” Clevenger says.

For you or anyone you know facing drug problems, the Spartanburg County Coroner’s office offers assistance on how to get help. Click here.

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