SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s news nobody wants to hear.
Sioux Falls Police have dealt with 26 overdose deaths from January through October.
That number is up compared to the same time period over the last few years.
“We are on pace for record overdose deaths despite record amounts of seizures, despite records amounts of us being involved and trying to put more effort into it, deaths are on the rise and we will have a record, more than likely, a record amount of deaths this year due to overdose,” Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum said.
The Helpline Center has handled more than 15,000 calls related to substance use and mental health from the start of the year through October 31st.
Substance use program manager Taylor Funke has picked up some of those calls.
“One of the big things that we do if somebody is using opiate-based drugs is that we encourage them or their family members to have access to Narcan,” Helpline Center substance use program manager Taylor Funke said.
Narcan reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
In addition to helping people gain access to the life-saving drug, by calling 211 you or a loved one can be guided toward resources and support.
“A lot of times when someone’s struggling with substance use or mental health disorders there’s a lot of unknown. We don’t know where to turn. There could also be financial burdens or barriers and it can seem really overwhelming. And not knowing where to turn or what to do, it just seems like a lot and it doesn’t seem doable,” Funke said.
But making a phone call for yourself or a loved one can help you know where to turn.