Efforts to combat drug overdoses in Mississippi

Published: May. 30, 2022 at 8:02 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippians overdosing on drugs is a significant problem with a deadly ripple effect.

In 2021, there were 491 overdose deaths in our state, and 123 have been recorded this year as of May 16.

The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and MS Coast Crime Stoppers released a statewide Overdose Awareness Video to shed light on this widespread problem.

In the video, you hear no voices.

You just see people in a cemetery holding white cards with powerful messages on them about the negative impacts of overdosing on drugs.

“Just one pill can lead to your overdose,” said Lori Massey with Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers. “One person who never tried a pill before, that’s all it takes.”

Massey says two families devastated by the loss of loved ones to overdoses sponsored this important project that will be seen all over the state.

They are hoping the 70-second and 30-second public service announcements will inform people of the ongoing epidemic.

“Not all overdoses lead to death, but so many times it does,” said Massey.

Vicksburg Narcotics Investigator Mario Grady agrees. He says people are overdosing on everything from ecstasy pills to fentanyl. In fact, he says some dealers are even lacing drugs, which is a deadly combination.

“What people are doing now is they’re having a pill press,” Grady said. “You can have a pill press to turn any kind of pill into anything you want. We are seeing now with ecstasy; people are putting fentanyl in the ecstasy pills. They have taken one and two pills, and they pass out. People not knowing what it is and people not having Narcan on-hand, and they end up dying.”

They also hope this video will urge the public to say something if they see something because it could save a life.

“We just want the information so that we can try to help,” said Grady.

“We just need people to speak up before it’s too late,” said Massey.

Mississippi Crime Stoppers says callers can remain anonymous and are eligible to receive a cash reward if the information given leads to a felony arrest or grand jury indictment of a felony offender.

Currently, the public service announcement is available to check out on YouTube and on the Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers website.

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