COLUMBIA, Miss. - The Columbia Rotary club met Tuesday at the Magnolia Grille with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics to discuss the nation-wide ongoing opioid epidemic.
According to the CDC, about 64,000 opioid related deaths have swept the nation which resulted in over 600 related deaths in Mississippi.
“This has become the leading cause of death in the United States for American’s under the age of 50. We’re losing more people to accidental opioid overdoses than automobile accidents than to gun shot wounds. This has increased dramatically over the past 10 years or so,” said Lt. of Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, John Harless.
Harelss spoke about how law enforcement, community leaders and decision makers need to come together to consider Narcan, the opioid reversal antidote, as a tool for first responders to use on emergency calls.
"We have sought partnerships with the treatment community, with the department of mental health with our medical board our pharmacy board, faith base groups, with community service groups like the Rotarians – to come together and educate each other and look at the issue from everybody’s individual perspective to come up with a holistic approach to solving the epidemic,"