Top stories of 2017: Springfield’s opioid crisis

Here’s a look at one of our top stories of 2017.

The Springfield region has been hit hard by the rise in opioid-related deaths over the course of 2017.

Clark County has seen 101 suspected opioid deaths this year — a record for the county. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has responded to 732 overdose calls, almost 75 percent of the total number of overdoses in the county, alone. Both police and fire officials have said responding to those types of calls have taxed their resources and made it more difficult to better serve the community.

New state funding is helping Clark County react to the spike. More than $700,000 in grant money has been given to the county to fund new programs and expand existing ones — like the McKinley Hall substance abuse treatment center — to help people find a way out of addiction.

» READ MORE: Progress made against drug overdoses in Clark County but war not over

In addition, a Good Samaritan law was also passed in Springfield which allows people who overdose the chance to avoid criminal prosecution as long as they seek treatment.

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