Coroner: Too many bodies ending up in his office due to opioid crisis
FAULKNER COUNTY (KATV) —
Thousands across the nation are dealing with the devastation of opioid addiction, and it's no different in Arkansas.
Arkansas' Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge, teold Channel 7 it's been a hot topic in all 75 counties, following her tour of roundtable discussions.
"Everyone at the table recognizes that there is not a silver bullet solving this problem, but it's a multifaceted problem and it's going to take a multifaceted solution,” said Rutledge.
Rutledge just finished her third tour of round table discussions across the state. The latest one led KATV to contact the Faulkner County coroner, who said he's seeing way too many bodies as a result of a drug overdose.
“Right now, we have 16 cases that we know are confirmed drug overdoses, we have four that are pending toxicology,” said interim coroner, Robert Edwards.
It's a reality hundreds of Arkansans are facing, when their loved one is stuffed in a body bag and brought into a cooler after losing their battle to opioid addiction.
"I think they're being over-prescribed, I think we're seeing very large amounts of these drugs being dispensed to patients and because of those large supplies, they're able to take them for longer periods and I think they're getting addicted,” added Edwards.
For now, the state and most communities are pushing the drug take back program hoping to curb the access to prescription medications.
“We do have drug take back box at the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office, and I think if more people would utilize that and get those drugs off the street, that might help."
Edwards added, when they arrive at the scene of a death they remove all of the deceased's prescription drugs from the premises to dispose of them. Believe it or not, they have had to argue with remaining family members as some try to keep them or hide them.
To find the nearest drug take back box, click here.