RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – Since the beginning of 2021 there has been a steady number of drug overdoses in the Phenix City and Russell County areas.
Russell County Coroner Arthur Sumbry tracks the number of drug overdoses for Phenix City and Russell County together.
“So far this year we’ve had about seven related drug deaths,” Sumbry said.
Sumbry told News 3 there’s one drug that seems to be taking a rise in the community and in some of the drug-related deaths.
“In the last few years we’ve noticed that prescription drugs have increased a little bit as far as related to death,” Sumbry said.
Prescription drugs aren’t the only drugs that are taking a toll on lives in the community.
“We’ve seen a little bit of fentanyl, methamphetamine of course. Here and there morphine, not a lot but one or two morphine deaths as it relates to 2020 I know. 2021 so far I don’t think we’ve had any morphine deaths,” Sumbry said.
Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor held a press conference on July 2, regarding a drug bust. Sherriff deputies obtained a significant amount of crystal meth amounting to $300,000. Sumbry hopes there won’t be any drug busts or drug overdoses, over the Fourth of July weekend.
“Sometimes during the holidays we do, praying and hoping that everybody will be safe. Generally, you’re talking about more along the lines of Dec. and Jan. At the end of Christmas season beginning of the New Year, people are sometimes depressed or missing their loved ones,” Sumbry said.
Sumbry wants those in the community to know what to do if they see a loved one or someone they know suffering from an overdose.
“If they don’t know CPR themselves, dial 911 and get help. If there’s someone that’s a neighbor, a nurse or somebody that’s affiliated in the medical field, try to get somebody. Know who your neighbors are so when the time comes for something like that, you know people who are in that profession or field,” Sumbry said.
Sumbry said he wishes those who over dosed were able to get the help they needed.
“When I see drug overdoses it tells me that a lot of people are suffering from some type of depression or anger issues. Whatever it may be even relationship issues, I think we just need to have the conversation of just talking more or even listening more,” Sumbry said.