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Police warn of increase in overdoses, Healing House offering NARCAN kits to save lives


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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV) — Since February, a growing list of local police departments are warning their communities about an increase in overdoses and overdose deaths caused by drugs laced with fentanyl in Kansas and Missouri.

Police say they are seeing an increase in overdoses among teens and young adults.

Kansas City, Missouri police warned parents back in February that young people were overdosing and dying after they took pills that they thought were Percocet or Oxycodone and were laced with fentanyl.

“It’s extremely dangerous, and it’s extremely tragic and sad, and we want to make sure that parents and their kids know that this is happening,” Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Captain David Jackson said at the time.

In March, Independence police issued a similar warning following overdoses in their city. In May, Kansas City, Kansas police sent a community alert warning of fentanyl-laced oxycodone pills.

“Just a few grains of the fentanyl can be lethal,” said Healing House Founder Bobbi-Jo Reed. “So, it’s like Russian Roulette every time they use.”

In 2020, Kansas City, Kansas police say 46 overdoses were reported. So far this year, they’ve had 39 suspected overdoses. Since last November, six juveniles under the age of 18 died from the laced pills.

Last month, Lawrence police reported that batches of heroin currently circulating in the city have increased and some batches include deadly amounts of fentanyl.

“It’s frightening. Nobody has to pass away from this,” Reed said. “We have meetings here. We have outreach right across the street. We can get people help.”

Reed says anyone in the community can get a free NARCAN nasal spray kit at Hope House at 4505 St. John Ave in Kansas City, Missouri.

“This simply blocks off the opioid receptors in our brain,” Reed said. “It will stop the effects of the opioids. It can reverse the overdose.”

Reed says she wants those who have a substance use disorder to know that help and kits are available.

“I would suggest, if you’re a grandparent and you have a grandchild living in your house that you know is using drugs, keep this on hand,” Reed said. “In our recovery homes, we have these under the sink in every house because nobody can get high off it. It’s not encouraging anybody to keep using but, while they’re using, it can be a lifesaving tool.”

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