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Georgetown police see spike in overdoses

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Posted at 7:22 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 09:55:53-04

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — Georgetown police are sounding the siren on recent overdose numbers. They say some numbers this year have blown past those from last year.

This year isn't even over yet and recovery coaches say it might be time to make a change when it comes to educating our children.

"I lost my oldest son at age 23 to substance use disorder back in 2017," said Corey Councill, who is a recovery coach with the Georgetown Police Department.

"That kind of took me away from my regular career and put me on a path of finding a purpose."

His purpose was not always in this department. He was in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years. After he lost his son David, he had a different calling.

"I spent the first three to six months just diving in and trying to find my own answers," said Councill.

That calling is now in Georgetown, where non-fatal overdoses are skyrocketing month by month.

According to data from the police department, there were 29 non-fatal overdoses in Georgetown last August. In August of 2020, there were just two cases.

"Despite all of our efforts and our increase to be more available to the community, we aren't keeping up with the number of individuals who are experiencing overdoses," said Becky Rhodes, who is a victim advocate for Georgetown police.

"We're seeing kids young as just younger and younger," said Councill. "I think we need to start the education piece a lot earlier -- like fifth or sixth grade."

Data shows in 2020, there were eight overdoses among people 16 to 25 years old. So far in 2021, it has more than tripled to 29.

"The isolation, the staying at home, you have a lot more kids who are home alone when the parents are at work," Councill says.

He has a suggestion for how we can all be part of a solution.

"Monitor your kids," he says. "If they're going to a friend's house, make sure you know the friend and the parents. It has to be a community fix."

Police also remind us the numbers in the chart are minimum figures, meaning these don't include overdoses where a first responder was not called.