Clark Co. sets record for number of fatal overdoses in 2017

The Springfield Soup Kitchen is one group that’s working to help lower those numbers, according to News Center 7’s James Buechele

“The drug problem hasn’t gone away. The overdoses may have been reduced, but that drug problem has taken on a different form,” said Fred Stegner, President of Springfield Soup Kitchen.

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Stegner isn’t surprised about the number of fatal overdoses.

“It’s quieted down, as you can see, there’s less this year so far than we’ve had last year.”

From the beginning of 2018 through July first, 25 people have died from unintentional drug overdoses in Clark County.

Stegner said people that come to the soup kitchen have been doing different drugs.

“They’ve moved more to crack cocaine and meth and so it isn’t as noticeable and you can tell in different ways.”

Stegner’s son, Teddy, also helps out at the soup kitchen and tries reaching out to people that come there to get them the help they need from non-profits and government assistance.

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“When you give them purpose, some value, some encouragement, and you work one-on-one and a lot of people I want to say what I do give up after the first couple of falls,” said Teddy Stegner. 

In 2015, 73 deaths were unintentional drug overdoses, and in 2016, that amount increased to 79.

“Relapse can happen at any time,” said Stegner.

Last year, men were more likely than women to die from a drug overdose, according to the Clark County’s Health District, and people aged 35 to 44 had the highest account of overdose deaths at 27 percent.

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