In 2020, 1,734 South Carolinians died from a drug overdose, a number that has been increasing since 2014. Of those 1,734 deaths, 1,400 were related to opioids and 1,100 involved fentanyl.
The South Carolina Overdose Prevention Project was established to reduce the number of deaths related to the misuse of opioids by training first responders and caregivers to recognize the signs of an overdose and administer naloxone, a drug that blocks or reverses the effects of opioids, to save lives. With the help of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, DAODAS trains law enforcement officers across the state as part of the Law Enforcement Officer Narcan (LEON) effort. In addition, the Reducing Opioid Loss of Life (ROLL) program trains firefighters throughout South Carolina. Due to the success of the programs, DAODAS has been awarded an additional federal grant through August 2025 to continue these programs and save lives in South Carolina.
For more information on South Carolina’s opioid epidemic, visit
Naloxone is FDA approved as a medication to reverse the toxic effects of an opioid overdose. In South Carolina, naloxone is available from pharmacies and community distributors throughout the state without a prescription.
Since January 2018, the state’s county alcohol and drug abuse authorities, opioid treatment programs, recovery organizations – and other organizations that provide services to people who may have a substance use disorder – have distributed thousands of doses of naloxone to patients, caregivers, and community members through the Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution program.
To locate a community distributor of naloxone, visit
For information about the availability of naloxone through pharmacies across South Carolina, visit
How to Become a Naloxone Distributor
Any organization that has an interest in providing naloxone to the public may apply to become a Community Distributor. Click here for instructions on how to apply.
Fentanyl Test Strips
Illicit substances are highly unpredictable and can be mixed with lethal doses of fentanyl that can cause an overdose – even in very small amounts. Individuals who misuse stimulants (e.g., cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines) may be unknowingly exposed to fentanyl and are especially vulnerable to overdose. Counterfeit pills, such as “blue oxys” and fake Xanax, have become increasingly available and are commonly laced with fentanyl.
To help curb the dramatic increase in drug overdose deaths driven by synthetic opioids like fentanyl, federal funding is being used to purchase rapid fentanyl test strips that can be used to find out if drugs have been mixed or cut with fentanyl. This will help people who use drugs reduce their risk of overdose. DAODAS contracts with many community distributors of naloxone in South Carolina to enhance their overdose prevention programs by offering fentanyl test strips at no cost.
NOTE: A negative test result does not mean an individual’s drugs are 100% safe. All street drug use comes with risks.