Drug-related overdose deaths spike in Cass County

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A recent spike in the number of deadly drug overdoses in Cass County now has the attention of city leaders in Fargo.

Data from the Cass County coroner shows drug overdose deaths in the county increased 55% between 2019 and 2020.

Deaths from methamphetamine increased by 79% while opioid overdose deaths went up by 40%.

For this year, county health officials project an overall decrease of deadly overdoses by about 8%.

“We took the amount of overdose deaths we had so far this year and projected out based on that number on what potentially that number could look like at the end of the year,” said Robin Litke Sall, the substance abuse prevention coordinator for Fargo Cass Public Health

As of September 15th, there have been a total of 38 drug-related deaths.

By the end of the year, that number is projected to reach 54.

Last year the total was 59.

“I think it says we are making a lot of headway. We are getting the word out about overdose and the availability of Narcan. We’re training individuals on how to use it and where to get it,” said Litke Sall.

In the first six months of this year, nearly 3,800 doses of Narcan were administered with 281 proving to be life-saving.

Litke Sall says it’s going to require more funding to fight the drug crisis in the county.

“One of the best things we could do is invest more time and money into prevention and hope that less people will start using drugs to begin with,” she said.

Litke Sall also says for those already involved with drugs...the solutions include investing in treatment services as well as building a community that embraces recovery.

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