May 27, 2022

Overdose deaths up; health officials blame fentanyl

Posted May 27, 2022 2:15 PM


St. Joseph Post 

St. Joseph Health officials say the ongoing opioid problem is continuing to get worse.   

St. Joseph Health Department Health Educator Nancy King says the introduction of fentanyl into the drug supply has been a problem 

"That has greatly increased the number of overdose and overdose fatalities in the fentanyl poisonings that we've seen in our community," King tells KFEQ/St. Joseph Post.  

King says locally the problem is becoming bigger than last year 

"We are looking at, if our current numbers continue, we are looking at doubling the number of overdose deaths that we had last year, and last year was already a record high at 29," King says.  

And she says if the problem continues the way it's going. 

"If our current rate continues, we are looking at having, if we have five every month, then we're looking at about 60 overdose deaths this year which is kind of a crisis level," King explains. "So, we need to really be working on educating the community and trying to reach out to people that maybe have substance abuse disorders." 

King says the department will host the Missouri Credentialing Board for training of Missouri Recovery Support Specialists. 

King says people that want to participate in this training need only the desire to help. 

"They want to help people that may be struggling with a behavioral health issue or with a substance abuse issue," she says.  

King says this is something you can do with your existing job or even if you're just looking for something to do in your free time 

"Really if you have the passion, and the desire, and the willingness in that you will be able to use these skills to help people, then those are the types of people we're looking at to sign up for this class," King says. 

The training will be held June 14th through the 16th at the Remington Nature Center.  You can contact the Health Department for more information at 816 236 1491