WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) —

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger says drug overdoses are down 29% so far this year, compared to the same period (January-September) last year.

And overdose deaths are down 71% for the same time periods

Chief Schwertfeger says he’s happy about both those categories.

He says during that same period, drug arrests have gone up 27%.

He also attributes the decreases to prevention and treatment efforts, heightened awareness and the availability and use of Narcan.

“Save a Life Day” in West Virginia marked with free Narcan

He says most of the overdoses are occurring in Center and South Wheeling, where offenses like squatting and thefts are also a significant problem.

He said 70% of individuals who overdose in Wheeling are given Narcan.

While Wheeling Police officers do not carry it, he says the Wheeling Fire Department and e-squads do carry and dispense Narcan.