BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The overdose epidemic here in Bay County remains consistent, if not worse than it’s been in recent years.

Bay County Sherriff’s Office said that most drug overdoses are now related to fentanyl, but it used to be heroin, “Fentanyl has come on really strong in the past 12 to 24 months and it doesn’t look like its slowing down,” said Stg. Steven Cook with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

Bay County has reported 100 overdoses already this year, with 13 of them being fatalities. Stg. Cook said this is on track with overdose numbers they have seen in 2021 & 2020 too.

With the issue growing and evolving, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of addiction in your loved ones.

A big part of the overdose epidemic is prevention, which is where treatment facilities like Recovery Bay are doing the groundwork.

Lacey Elkins, Recovery Bays’ Director of Business Development said changes in a family or friend’s behavior are the main thing to look for when recognizing addiction.

Those hiding their addiction will likely isolate themselves or regress from their normal responsibilities.

“You know a lot of these different substances bring forth changes in behavior, erratic behavior is one symptom, mood swings is a big one too, and then a short fuse. Getting angry really quickly that’s another one,” said Elkins.

Thankfully over the past ten years, as mental health has become a more comfortable subject, so has the conversation around addiction.

Elkins added, “I think it’s super important that when a client calls us for help, that the other person on the end of that phone can say ‘Hey you know I’ve been there, I know what you’re going through, and this is how I made it out via going to treatment and this is how I’m better today.'”

It may sound simple, but Recovery Bay said the most powerful thing a drug user can do is ask for help.

Recovery Bay is available 24/7, and from the first call to being admitted can take as little as 2.5 hours.

Their hotline is 833-991-2871