JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) –
Prescription drug abuse is at an epidemic level in some parts of the county. Opioid abuse now kills more than 100 Americans daily.
Representatives from the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Public Safety, the Bureau of Narcotics, and the Board of Pharmacy held a town hall meeting on the “Death, Cost, and Destruction: The Impact of Opioids in Your Community”.
Prescription drug abuse has surged 400 percent in the past decade.
More teens say it is easier to acquire prescription drugs than to buy beer.
According to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, there have been 486 reported drug overdoses in Mississippi over the past three years.
Of those, 394 were opioid related.
First responders like paramedics are seeing more of this. Syringes are routinely carried on all ambulances.
“So we are definitely seeing an elevated response over the past several years,” said Ryan Wilson AMR’s Clinical Education Manager for Central MS & North LA Operations. “It’s been kind of up and down at times, but unfortunately it’s becoming more and more common.”
Narcan syringes are now carried on all ambulances to help mediate the symptoms of drug overdose in patients.
Thanks to a law passed in the 2016 legislative session, police, firemen and other paramedics who arrived on the scene of an opioid overdose can now carry Narcan nasal spray to help save lives during an overdose.
“Symptoms like altered mental status, slow breathing, we can temporarily reverse those so we can take care of the patient, get them breathing better than they were before and get them to the hospital,” said Wilson.
State leaders will open up this health crisis with abuse education and how communities can help cut the death and destruction rates caused by addiction.
This panel’s goal is to educate about the topic of opioid abuse and how communities can help reduce the death and destruction caused by opioid addiction.
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