Fentanyl crisis in Kansas demands awareness and education

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 12:33 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Law enforcement among others met today at the Topeka Law Enforcement Center to discuss the impacts of fentanyl in Kansas.

Already in the first 3 months of 2022 there have been over 2,500 drug overdoses in Kansas. That comes after seeing a 54% increase in drug overdoses in the first 6 months of 2021. Libby Davis lost her son Cooper to a fentanyl overdose last year.

“That sent us into this world of trying to use Cooper’s story as a cautionary tale and to hopefully save lives of others,” said Davis.

Tuesday, it brought Davis to Topeka for a round table discussion with Congressman Jake LaTurner and area law enforcement.

“This is the leading cause of death for people 18 to 45 in this country and it is completely unacceptable,” said LaTurner.

To honor her son’s life, Davis started the Cooper Davis Memorial Foundation to help bring awareness and education to the dangers surrounding fentanyl.

“Some of them don’t want to believe that this could be a danger to their child, but I firmly believe that the fentanyl epidemic does not discriminate and it can affect any American household and we all need to be talking about it,” said Davis.

Shawnee County Sheriff Brian Hill agreed saying education is the first step.

“I do think that it starts with the public education,” said Hill. “We need to be talking to our kids, our family and loved ones and to anybody that’ll listen to how dangerous this drug is.”

And in a message to parents, Davis says the game has changed.

“Drug dealers are no longer in dark alleys,” said Davis. “They are in your homes and on your children’s smartphones. I hope that the dangers of fentanyl can be a discussion that every family is having at the dinner table because everyone needs to be talking about this and it’s the only way that we’ll be able to save our youth.”

LaTurner also said it’s critical to get handle on the amount of of fentanyl coming to the United States through our southern border.

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