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Charleston County Coroner’s Office Receives Grant Related to Opioid Deaths

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The Charleston County Coroner’s Office announced today that it has been awarded $54,924 in grant funds from the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant which is administered by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs. Funds will be used to hire a Special Opioid Medicolegal Death Investigator who will focus on the opioid epidemic and drug related deaths in Charleston County.  

The Coroner’s Office was previously awarded funds for this project in 2018. These funds are a continuation of that project.

In 2020, the Charleston County Coroner’s Office investigated 180 unintentional opioid/drug related deaths. In 2021, the Coroner’s Office has confirmed 142 unintentional opioid/drug related deaths with 41 cases pending toxicology testing, but suspicious for an overdose.  

“Charleston County has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic,” said Coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neal. “We are honored to have been awarded funds that will  provide for a Special Opioid Medicolegal Death Investigator who will focus on the specific needs of drug related death investigations, engage with community stakeholders, and provide needed resources to surviving families.” 

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