Opioid overdoses not just a national problem

Community Connections SAPS coalition pushes for action, conversation on National Fentanyl...
Community Connections SAPS coalition pushes for action, conversation on National Fentanyl Awareness Day.(Beatriz Reyna)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 3:50 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - May 10 marked the first-ever National Fentanyl Awareness Day by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to the CDC, of the nearly 100,000 overdose deaths between June 2020 and June 2021, 64% were fentanyl related. For people 15 to 24-year-olds, 78% of deaths involved fentanyl.

Community Connections Substance Abuse Prevention System coalition members said the highly addictive drug is now being laced with street drugs and has made its way into communities across the country.

“We are seeing a lot more of it and I think Monday we had a body in a hotel room in Brown County and we think it was a fentanyl overdose,” said coalition member Shane Belgum. “We are just seeing more and more of it.”

As part of opioid overdose prevention, the Nebraska Pharmacists Association has made NARCAN available to anyone free of charge and without a prescription.

USave Pharmacy and Westfield Pharmacy in North Platte are participating in the program.

To view all Nebraska pharmacies participating in the program go to stopodne.com.

“A couple of years ago we had several instances where people had stopped at a house and asked to use the bathroom or they would go to a home showing to a home that was for sale and they would rifle through the medicine cabinet,” said Lieutenant Dan Newton. “What the coalition does for getting information out and hosting their monthly drug collection to secure your prescription medications if you are no longer using them, is a good thing.”

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