In Lafayette Parish, fatal opioid overdoses are on the rise in 2019 compared to the national rate, according to our media partners at The Advocate.
Data collected from the parish coroner's office details 19 fatal overdoses involving fentanyl in the first ten months of 2019, a 46 percent increase from 2018, and 21 heroin related deaths through October, up from last year's 18.
The newspaper says that the figures show a steady increase of deaths since 2015 when there were no fentanyl-involved overdoses and only four involving heroin in Lafayette Parish.
The Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office tells the Advocate that the numbers would probably be higher if it were not for the use of Naloxone to revive those who have overdosed. Department spokesman John Mowell says that deputies administered the drug 10 times in 2018 and 16 times, so far, in 2019.
Sheriff's departments across the state are provided use of Naloxone by the State Attorney General's office through a $1 million settlement with Pfizer.
In 2017, the State Department of Health issued a standing order for Naloxone which allowed pharmacists to dispense the drug to laypeople including caregivers, family and friends of an opioid user without a direct prescription from a doctor.
To read the full report from The Advocate, click here.
Read more from the CDC about the opioid crisis, here.