Sand Mountain doctor seeing increase in opioid overdoses

Sand Mountain doctor seeing increase in opioid overdoses
(Source: WAFF)

MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A doctor with Marshall Medical Center North's emergency room said opioid overdoses are on the rise.

Dr. Victor Sparks said you can lose your life quickly after an opioid overdose. He said they're dealing with opiate overdoses every two or three days and sometimes with several people at once.

"In the last year to two years, there has been a significant uptick it appears in opiate overdoses," said Sparks.

"When we're routinely treating overdoses acutely, it lets you know it's in the epidemic stages," he said.

Sparks said it's at its worst with people between ages 18 and 24.  He said the efforts they'll go to get drugs is shocking.

"Cancer patients used fentanyl patch in their mouth to get the medication out of it," he said.

Sparks said they're fighting the epidemic through apathy in that age group. He said you can bring someone back from near death and they still don't get it. Sparks also sees the apathy by the friends that brought them to the hospital in an overdose situation.

"Dumps the patient out. Car leaves. You rush the patient back. They're purple, blue, not breathing," he said.

Sparks said they do what they can to educate people and that schools do what they can, but he feels people's families need to step up.

"I'm primarily responsible for my kids, so the ultimate education needs to start at home at the kitchen table," he said.

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