JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Multiple state agencies welcomed the Jones County community to a town hall meeting on the opioid epidemic Tuesday night.
One in ten people in Mississippi misuse prescription drugs and statistics show there are enough opioids in the state for every man, woman and child to have 70 pills each.
"It's going to impact everyone," said Michael Jordan, the State Opioid Treatment Authority with the Mississippi Department of Health.
The meeting was held at Ronald E. Whitehead Advanced Technology Center on the campus of Jones County Junior College. Members of law enforcement, the health field and others who have been impacted by the epidemic were in attendance.
According to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, 122 people have died this year from opioid overdoses with an estimated eight to ten of those in Jones County.
"We are seeing an increase in treatment admission," said Jordan. "We've seen a 208% increase in opioid use disorder treatment admissions with our certified providers in the last three years, so it's becoming more and more of a community problem."
The Mississippi Department of Mental Health has $3,584,702 to put towards efforts to stop, or curb, the epidemic in the state through a Federal State Targeted Response Opioid Grant. Ann Rodio, the Project Director for that grant, told audience members that money was going towards spreading awareness, through town halls, funding treatment programs and getting law enforcement equipped with Narcan.
For resources on opioid-related issues including prevention, assessment, treatment, diversion and disposal, visit the Mississippi Targeted Opioid Project Facebook page