JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
S.A.V.E held a meeting at the capitol Saturday to highlight awareness and prevention tactics in the on-going opioid and fentanyl crisis.
Parents, DEA agents and anti-drug activists spoke at the meeting and shared emotional stories about their own experiences with addiction.
The founder of S.A.V.E, Gail Daniel, said she started her mission after her 20-year-old daughter passed away from an overdose.
Daniel said that she started S.A.V.E as a heroin awareness and prevention ministry but it's turned more to fentanyl because that's what we are dealing with now.
The DEA's website said that fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that, "is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin, and 100 times more potent than morphine."
Miles Aley is the Assistant Special Agent at the Kansas City DEA's office, and he told ABC 17 News that just one pill can kill you.
"Four out of 10 of the pills that we've seized this last year and submitted to our laboratory contained the lethal dose of fentanyl," Aley said.
Aley said that the men and women at the DEA are committed to fighting this epidemic. "They are out there on the streets right now and around the country and around the world and they will relentlessly pursue the people who seek to profit from these poisons on our streets," Aley said.
Both the DEA and the founder of this event want distributors of the drugs to be held accountable, and Daniel wants at home pill-presses to be removed from online retailers, and attributes them to the increase of accidental overdoses.
"I'm not sure if it's one company that sells them, I don't know, but they can make any pill, Xanax, Percocet, you name it, they can out the marker on it, press it, and it's fentanyl," Daniel said.
The National Fire Protection Agency reported that there is one call every eight seconds for an overdose.
Columbia Firefighters said that this statistic aligns with what they are seeing. The Columbia Police Department reported 18 overdose related deaths in 2020, and there have already been 18 this year.