Savannah doctor notices uptick in overdoses

Macro of oxycodone opioid tablets with prescription bottles against dark background

Photo: Getty Images

By Camille Syed

Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 3:09 PM EDT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - An emergency room doctor said a Savannah hospital has seen an uptick in overdoses.

“You know you hear about it, you read about it and then when you actually start seeing it causes caution to the wind,” Dr. Jay Goldstein said.

Caution with the opioid crisis getting worse and concern growing for people on the frontline seeing these patients.

“It’s of serious concern to healthcare providers,” he said.

Dr. Goldstein is an emergency room doctor at Memorial Health. He said the increase comes as drug dealers are lacing street drugs with fentanyl.

According to the Chatham County Counter Narcotics Team, 54 people died from opioid overdoses last year and fentanyl was found in 75 percent of those cases.

“Even folks that feel like they can handle it, are not handling it. We’re seeing deaths, we’re seeing a lot of reversals of these narcotic abuse kind of cases,” Dr. Goldstein said.

And as they see more people coming into Memorial’s emergency room for overdoses and not coming out, Dr. Goldstein says they hope to spread a message that save lives.

“We’re trying to get the word out and trying to educate these kids on these street drugs and what it can do and the devastating effects is of utmost importance, and probably of greatest concern for us more than anything else,” he said.

Dr. Goldstein said they’re spreading that message even to people who aren’t coming in for drug-related abuse.

“It’s not about who you’re getting it from or who you think is safe, none of it is safe. You need to realize that street drugs are bad and especially what we’re seeing now, is it’s killing a lot of kids, a lot of teenagers and it’s stricken a lot of families and friends close to home,” Dr. Goldstein said.

There is a new program to in Chatham County to educate the public on the dangers of fentanyl.

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