CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Missouri leaders met in Cape Girardeau on Tuesday, Sept 12 to bring attention to what they are calling an opioid epidemic across the state.
Around 500 people in the area left the event with a greater perspective on what local and state officials are dealing with when it comes to opioid addiction.
Director of the Department of Public Safety, Drew Juden, along with the Director of Health and Senior Services Randall Williams were in attendance.
They brought up a drug bust in Cape Girardeau last spring where officials said a local man was manufacturing and selling fentanyl across the U.S.
Juden said this epidemic doesn't discriminate.
"It is an epidemic, and it doesn't know any boundaries, I mean, it doesn't look at race, or religion, or socio-economic stature," Juden said. "It will take anybody's life, and it's extremely dangerous. It's extremely dangerous for the law enforcement community that has to respond to those events, and seize some of those narcotics."
Juden said it's a huge problem for law enforcement when they seize the narcotics. Due to how strong they can be, some officers have to carry Narcan in case of an unintentional overdose.
A similar event was underway in Carbondale, Illinois to discuss the opioid crisis in Jackson County and Southern Illinois.
Meanwhile, the Missouri State Highway Patrol has started training troopers how to use Narcan to revive people during an overdose.