The opioid crisis continues to plague our state and the nation. The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics was in Columbia Tuesday educating Rotary members on the epidemic.
Opioid abuse is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50 in the United States. MBN agents said aggressive law enforcement is only one part of the multifaceted solution.
Lt. John Harless said the first way to reach a solution to anything is to educate all the stakeholders in what the problem is. The goal is to bring a network of people together to help stop the opioid crisis.
"We've realized it's not just a criminal justice problem, it's a public health issue," Harless said. "We are never going to arrest enough people to solve the issue. The unity between the treatment community, law enforcement, the public, and the medical community is the only way we are going to get our heads wrapped around it to work on a solution."
64,000 deaths were reported due to opioid abuse in 2016.
COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - Tuesday's event was held at the Magnolia Grille in Columbia.