Growing concern over opioid use in the city of Madison

Growing concern over opioid use in the city of Madison
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 10:43 PM CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The opioid epidemic isn’t slowing down. On Sunday, three people died in the city of Madison just an hour apart due to opioid use.

The Madison Police Citizens Advisory Committee held a meeting to educate citizens on why this is happening.

“We had a young man who overdosed on a Wednesday night,” Detective for City of Madison Police Department Russ Owens said. “His parents got to him in time. We were able to save his life and send him to the hospital. Friday morning his parents found him dead. He had not been home an hour, and he did it again.”

Owens says, unfortunately, the addiction wins. He believes the root of the problem started around 8 years ago.

“Just in 2014 alone, 5 million pills of pain relievers were given out, and there are only 2 million people in this state.”

Madison Police Citizens Advisory Committee says education is one way to combat the issue.

“It is very important we always keep connected and looking at those issues and the effects they will have here,” said Marc Highsmith, Chair of the Madison Police Citizens Advisory Committee.

The city of Madison police department is taking many steps to combat the root of the problem and help those who have fallen through the cracks.

“We are trying to work backward and get to those dealers that are doing this and get to those people who are killing them.”

Madison Chief of Police Johnny Gandy says they have the tool necessary to save lives on them at all times.

“We carry NARCAN that will actually override what the opioid is doing and get the body back to its autonomic function.”

Detective Owens says only 8-14 percent of the population who begin using fentanyl survive or even make it back into society.

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