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KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas' proposed ordinance to tackle fentanyl overdoses passes out of committee

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Nov 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-08 18:24:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas proposed an ordinance at the Finance, Governance and Public Safety committee on Wednesday morning that would strengthen the city's fight against fentanyl.

The ordinance passed out of committee and will be recommended to the full council on Thursday’s regular council meeting.

According to the Kansas City Health Department’s presentation, there was almost a 1,000% increase in synthetic opioid deaths between 2017 and 2021. Fentanyl accounts for about 40% of all overdose deaths across the city.

The new ordinance asks for three things:

  • To make it mandatory to report all fatal and non-fatal fentanyl overdoses
  • To create an overdose fatality review board
  • To hire two new investigators to the health department for fentanyl tracing

The health department and Lucas believe awareness starts with knowledge — knowledge of where it is happening, how it is happening and who it is happening to.
“You need real data to make sure we know what type of investment we need to make, what type of solutions we need to find,” said Lucas. “This is one of those ordinances, one of few frankly, that actually does get to the core of the problem and hopefully it’s getting us to a solution long term.”

Crystal Tucker, who lost her 22-year-old son three years ago to a fentanyl overdose, says she is happy to see elected officials putting preventative measures in place and hopes the fatality review board will include families like hers.

“I know he talked about appointing people from the health department and from law enforcement, but I think having somebody like myself, a parent or family member whose life has literally been torn apart by this, … and having that perspective added to that kind of council could be really beneficial,” said Tucker.

An investigation into her son’s Snapchat messages revealed that Lantz died after buying what he thought was oxycodone from an unknown person at a club in Lawrence.

He had been managing his back and chest pain with Advil since sustaining an injury from skateboarding when he was 15.

Tucker says her son was energetic, vibrant, charming and outgoing. He was loved by everyone who knew him and he could have thoughtful conversations with anyone. Now, the family is using his story to raise awareness around the dangers and prevalence of fentanyl.

“This is a war on our children’s lives and our only weapon is awareness,” said Tucker. “I want to make other parents realize that if this can happen to me, it can happen to them.”

If passed, the ordinance will be effective starting Jan. 1, 2024.