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Leaders in Johnson County take action to combat rising fentanyl numbers

Leaders in Johnson County take action against rising fentanyl death numbers
Posted at 6:41 AM, Jun 06, 2024

OLATHE, Kan. — The community will gather Thursday for a crucial event aimed at raising awareness about the rising fentanyl numbers in Johnson County.

The Fentanyl Safety Event is a partnership between the Johnson County Prevention and Recovery Coalition and Song for Charlie, a nonprofit aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of fentanyl. Sierra Wright, manager of Prevention for Johnson County Mental Health said this event comes at an important time for the county.

“Our coalition, the Johnson County Prevention and Recovery Coalition, has been around for about two years and it happened really as we saw the national trend sort of catch up with us here in Johnson County as far as losing young lives to fentanyl overdose," Wright said.

The event will feature a free film screening for the community. The film, "The New Drug Talk," is an original by Song for Charlie that aims to help families understand the fentanyl crisis and how to talk to our kids about the drug.

“If we don't know there's a problem then we can't work to start, to try to come together and solve it, so that's a huge piece," Wright said.

According to the Johnson County Prevention and Recovery Coalition, in 2022, there were 81 opioid-related deaths in the county, 73 death, or 90%, were ruled accidental by the county's Medical Examiner's Office.

“I think all of us acknowledge that this is such an important crisis that we're talking about, but to sit down with parents who have lost a child to a fentanyl overdose is absolutely heartbreaking," Wright said.

The free event starts at 5:40 p.m. and will be held at the Olathe Downtown Library.
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