Madison County Deputy Coroner: One drug-related death every five days

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Deputy Coroner Tyler Berryhill says he doesn't see drug-related deaths decreasing any time soon.

In a recent meeting with Madison County first responders, the public health crisis of drug overdose was the topic of conversation.

"In 2015, we were seeing a drug related death occur once every a week, once every 7 days," said Berryhill. "When 2016 came, we saw that number increase to once every 6 and in 2017, right now we're averaging one drug-related death every 5 days in all of Madison county."

Berryhill says the coroner's office continues to see a major rise and continued presence of opioid abuse. In 2017, Fentanyl is front and center, but there is one that is taking the lead.

"Designer Fentanyl and what that is. It is lab based, some of it is shipped into the country overseas, and what happens when you have the synthetics is that often times it can be multiple times stronger than the Fentanyl base alone," said Berryhill.

For law enforcement, drug-related deaths are a recurring issue. Berryhill says to beat this public health crisis, it's going to take a collaborative, community effort.