(Columbia County) Reports of drug overdoses and overdose deaths in Columbia County are edging downward, reflecting a national trend. Sheriff Roger Brandner released the statistics today (Friday) saying that while one death is too many, there is finally a decrease in the number of drug overdoses in Columbia County.
Last year, there were ten opioid overdose deaths, down from 18 the previous year. In 2017, there were eleven deaths while 15 were reported in 2016. Last year, there were 65 calls reporting drug overdoses. That number is down considerably from the 103 reported in 2018. There were 70 overdose calls in 2017 and 84 in 2016. Brandner says that his office continues to fight aggressively to deter drug crimes in the community and notes that there have been some tremendously difficult times with the opiate epidemic that has adversely affected many families and the community as a whole. The sheriff says the decrease comes after years of tireless efforts working together with many community partners through drug awareness and educational talks while aggressively enforcing drug violations and supporting supplemental treatment strategies.