LEE CO., GA (WALB) - Less than three months into the start of 2018 and some first responders said they are already seeing an increase in overdoses compared to last year.
On Tuesday in Lee County, a 36-year-old man was found dead in a parking lot. Officials said he had overdosed.
It's the first overdose death in the county this year and the eighth overdose Lee County Fire and Emergency Services Compliance Officer Alan Kidd said his team has responded to.
"We're seeing an upswing in them," said Kidd. "We're seeing more and more calls for overdoses."
Kidd said paramedics are using Narcan more often too. So far this year, the department has gone through six vials. The life-saving drug is used to treat people who have overdosed on opioids.
"Anytime you see an epidemic like this coming into your county and it's on the upswing, it just tells you there are things going on in the county that need to be addressed," explained Kidd.
Just down the road in Dougherty County, EMS Director Sam Allen said this year his team has given 20 vials of Narcan. That is up from last year's monthly average of seven vials.
"We have seen an increase, a slight increase, in the number of overdose cases that we run into," said Allen.
Allen said often times the person who overdosed had a history of addiction.
"The family thought they were getting better, but on the blindside, the person was actually getting back into the drug situation," explained Allen.
EMS officials said there are things loved ones can to do be prepared for an emergency with a family member with an opioid addiction, like speaking with a doctor about getting a prescription for Narcan.