SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls police have been investigating three overdose deaths believed to be tied to fentanyl, and in the last month police say they’ve been called to 11 overdoses.
Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead tells KELOLAND News that in 2019, Minnehaha County and Sioux Falls together saw 107 suspected overdoses which ended in 30 deaths. This year, the numbers are comparatively a little better so far; through the end of July, there were 38 suspected overdoses which ended in 9 deaths.
The Helpline Center in Sioux Falls has a free service available at any time for someone battling substance use: the South Dakota Resource Hotline. This number, 1-800-920-4343, is for anyone who might need help with a substance use disorder.
“Maybe they see some signs or symptoms, and they’re not quite sure, and they just kind of need to touch base with somebody in a confidential manner,” said Taylor Funke, substance use program manager with the Helpline Center.
There is also something called “Care Coordination” available, which Funke describes as “deeper case management.”
“We just really want people to know that there’s a place where they can turn, there’s resources that are available,” Funke said. “Sometimes … getting into treatment or you have a loved one who’s struggling, you just don’t know where to turn, and it can seem really overwhelming.”
The Helpline Center has worked with the South Dakota Department of Social Services on these ventures.
“With the Resource Hotline and our Care Coordination program, we really hope to alleviate some of that burden and make sure that people are connected with the help and the support that they need,” Funke said.