GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- New data from Guilford County Emergency Service showed a decrease in fatal opioid overdoses. 

  • The number of opioid deaths decreased 
  • Clinical experts credit the access to Narcan for the decline
  • However, there was a rise in overall overdoses

79 people died from opioid overdoses in 2018, compared to 104 in 2017. The Clinical Team Lead at Alcohol and Drug Services credited access to Narcan for the decline. 

"I think people are a lot smarter about you know, 'I don't know what I'm getting, and I'm going to make sure that I have other medication to keep me safe," Les Quagliano said. 

However, there was a rise in overall overdoses. Many treatment resources say they use medication assisted treatment to help addicts. 

"It reduces cravings. It reduces your withdrawal symptoms without getting that euphoric high," Erinn Oakley at Triad Behavioral Resources said. 

Experts say they were split on a new monthly injection medication. 

"Some patients that are still actively engaged in employment, they're still in school, and this is certainly a medication they won't have to administer every day," Quagliano said. 

Oakley says Triad Behavioral Resources prefers the daily pill. 

"We do want people to be actively engaged in treatment, and one way to do that is prescriptions. You have to write a prescription, they have to come back to get it filled. If you do an injection, you less likely to get them back in," she said. 

Both resource centers say the medication assisted treatment is not successful without individual and group therapy. 

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