Clark County appealing to the public after overdose rate doubles

CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WRGT) - Clark County emergency rooms were overwhelmed after a deadly batch of fentanyl hits the streets, causing an overdose every hour.

The county said they now need your help to stop the problem.

It's no mystery, drugs are a problem in most communities. But in Springfield, it's currently an epidemic.

Dwayne Ross is tired of watching people die.

"it's really bad, effecting the community, the young and the old," Ross said.

Fentanyl is being passed off as heroin. As a result, overdoses are doubling in Clark County.

More than a dozen people are being treated at the hospital and four people have died.

"I think they need to get out here and work these streets a little harder and get it off the streets," Ross said.

Lt. Dustin White with the Clark County Sheriff's Office said deputies are cracking down, but deadly drugs keep coming back.

"It's so frustrating because once you make an arrest and you feel like you've done something, well you go back out there and it’s still a big problem," Lt. White said.

Health commissioner Charles Patterson said there's a big strain on emergency crews, so friends and family need to act as first responders.

"We need to keep a close eye on loved ones," Patterson said.

The coroner said if someone is doing drugs and passes out, watch for unusual heavy snoring. Their lungs may be drowning with fluid.

If possible, use naloxone or call for help.

"If you can recognize it and call 911, you may be able to save a life," coroner Dr. Richard Marsh said.

One third of Clark County deaths are due to accidental overdoses and numbers are trending upward.

Dwayne feels it's only going to get worse.

"I hate to see it, but it's out here and I don't think it’s ever going to stop," Ross said.

On a normal day, Clark County will see 5 or 6 overdoses.

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