Jackson County authorities gather in Blue Springs after 30 opioid overdoses

Community forum Thursday night after rate of opioid ODs among young people skyrockets
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 5:48 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Blue Springs community is meeting Thursday night to have an open discussion to share ideas about how to stop fentanyl and opioid abuse among young people in Jackson County.

The Blue Springs Police Department, Central Jackson County Fire Protection District and other community agencies are coming together to begin this “One Life, One Community” initiative. It started at the beginning of this month with a video premiere on the city and police’s Facebook pages and YouTube channel, but Thursday gives the community a chance to share their thoughts and stories in-person.

Representatives from the police, fire, health department, St. Mary’s Medical Center and more organizers will be there Thursday night. The forum is at 1100 SW Smith St., Blue Springs, MO, and starts at 6 p.m. In addition to being an in-person event, it will also be live-streamed for those who can’t attend.

The CJCFPD reports more than 30 opiate-related ODs as of Nov. 1. Blue Springs had one overdose for someone 21 and younger last year, but that has increased to 10 this year, the youngest being 13 years old.

BSPD Special Victim’s Unit Sgt. Keegan Hughes said, “We’re trying to gauge what we consider success for this program. We’re on stage one of hopefully several stages, and really day one of hopefully several days or years, to fix this, and I can tell you in our community our overdoses have nearly doubled.”

Hughes believes educating the community on the dangers – while having an open dialogue and answering questions from the community – should help continue the conversation about the negative impact those drugs have on kids and young adults.

He said they are working with other area agencies outside of blue springs to find who is possibly manufacturing and selling opioids around as many other communities in our viewing area have been hit hard by od’s and deaths from fake pills -- he mentioned the Oak Grove community where four students have died or been hospitalized since the start of the school year.

“We have to get into homes. We have to get parent participation. We have to get our community participation. If we don’t all work together to reach this goal, it’s not going to be successful,” said Hughes.

Residents can ask questions and ideas if they can’t attend in person to city@bluespringsgov.com or comment on the City’s Facebook Livestream at www.facebook.com/bluespringsgov.