HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Opioid overdoses are becoming more and more prominent in the Pine Belt, especially in the Hattiesburg area. The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics is taking strides to stop it.
"In the last two weeks, I think the total right now is five overdoses that are here in the Hattiesburg area,” said John Dowdy, Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
Dowdy addressed the ongoing issue during a news conference on Monday. Dowdy said the main drugs MBN is finding are prescription drugs laced with fentanyl.
“The way it’s being produced right now is simply in a powder form,” Dowdy said. “Cocaine often comes in a powdered form, they are just basically mixing the two powders together.”
James Moore lost his son in 2015 to an opioid overdose. Moore is now working to distribute an antidote to help people during an overdose.
“I was not aware that there was an antidote that could have saved him had it been given to him in time,” Moore said. “It is Narcan. It’s available to anyone whether you think you may have someone in your family that’s abusing opioids. Whether you’re an addict yourself or whether you work in a place where people may be consuming drugs and you want to be prepared.”
Dowdy said MBN is working with law enforcement agencies across the Pine Belt to stop this growing problem.
“We work with them on a day-to-day basis trying to find the dealers that are pushing these drugs on the street,” Dowdy said. “We’re trying to get the drugs off the streets, and obviously arrest these individuals who are selling them.”
MBN stresses people should not get prescription drugs off the streets, even if they seem legitimate.