(COLUMBIA, MO) - Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, Columbia Fire Department and Columbia Police Department will host an emergency community meeting to address an increase in fatal drug overdoses in Columbia. The meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the commons at Hickman High School, 1104 N. Providence Road.

The goal of the community meeting is to raise awareness about the highly potent opioid fentanyl being found in multiple drugs.

According to the Columbia Police Department, there have been 22 known and/or suspected drug overdose deaths in Columbia between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1, 2021. Of those overdose deaths, 50% have occurred since Aug. 1. In the nine-month timeframe, officers responded to 200 calls for service where an individual was reported to be experiencing a drug overdose. Of those reports, Columbia Police documented that 131 people actually were experiencing an overdose. These numbers reflect only what Columbia Police have documented. There could be more incidents that are not reported.

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Experts will be available to provide information and distribute naloxone (Narcan) which can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. A Columbia Police narcotics detective will share information about the current state of drug use and overdoses in Columbia. There will also be speakers who will talk about their experiences with overdose and naloxone (Narcan). Local service providers and organizations will be present to distribute information and other items.

Individuals who may be interested in attending could be those with friends or family members who use drugs either recreationally or regularly, concerned residents, those who want to learn more about how to use naloxone (Narcan) or those who would like naloxone (Narcan) on hand to save a loved one's life.

Filed Under: Government, City

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