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Johnson County Sheriff's Office urges education due to overdose deaths involving fentanyl


In the last month, Johnson County has seen a surge in overdose deaths involving fentanyl, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in a press release last month via its Facebook page.

Lt. Jeff Parsons has seen it firsthand over his 23 years in the county, as he dealt with the passing of a close relative more than a decade ago.

“That was the first impact that I witnessed in Johnson County, so I know the effects that it takes on families, what it does to the families and how addictive it is,” Parsons said.

Parsons pointed out that drugs like opioids can lead to an addiction to fentanyl. And, unfortunately, there is only a fine line between getting a high versus death.

Officers in Johnson County have been made aware of the surge and are monitoring it daily.

“One of our main goals here during these investigations is to find the source and go after those people and charge them criminally,” Parsons said. "If the public knows individuals who are selling it, it's important that they reach out to our office. And then we'll investigate it.”

The fentanyl and opioid surge overall has no boundaries to its age or demographic. To combat this, Parsons urges everyone in Johnson County to become aware of the crisis and educate themselves on how they could be affected by potential overdoses.

“Education is a big thing. Tell your kids, your friends and family that this is out there,” Parsons said. “Those people that are taking narcotics, they don't even know what they're putting into their body and it could be laced with fentanyl and then they die from it.”

“Together, we can work towards preventing further tragedies and offering support to those in need,” the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said via Facebook.

For more information on education and linkage to care programs, visit Recovery Lighthouse in Warrensburg or Sedalia, or on its Facebook page. Other resources include Time 2 Act Missouri at time2actmissouri.com and the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988lifeline.org.

To reach the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, call 660-747-6469 or visit jocomosheriff.org.

Zach Bott can be reached at 660-747-8123.