LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - It's an epidemic that's sweeping across the nation: the growing number of deaths related to opioid and heroin abuse.
New information released by the Lexington County coroner's office shows just how close the danger hits to home.
In the last year, Lexington County saw 44 deaths caused by accidental overdoses. In all, 36 of them were opioid-abuse related. The coroner says more than half of the people who died were prescribed the drug that caused the fatal overdose.
On Monday, the Lexington County Sheriff's Department continued its efforts to travel in the county and show residents how drug addiction can impact an entire community.
A film called Chasing the Dragon, a term more complicated than just smoking opium, is shown to discuss addiction. The screening is a graphic movie filmed by the FBI meant to bring awareness about the dangers of drug/pill addictions.
The video shares real-life stories of people who are suffering because of the same drug addictions hitting families and children at home.
"We are concerned," Lexington County Sheriff's Department Capt. Mark Jones said. "We are very concerned about what we're seeing in Lexington County, to the point that we need to educate the public."
The hard-to-watch film is exactly what the sheriff's department wants to show when they invite teens and families out for the movie.
When it comes to fighting opioid addiction in the Midlands, they say the nationwide issue is spreading through the area at alarming rates.
"We are seeing it more and more. It's getting more and more deadly out here," Capt. Jones said.
There are more discussions planned in the future. The next one is Thursday, May 18 at the Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.