Columbia Police are warning that fentanyl-related overdose deaths in the city are on pace to exceed last year’s numbers.
CPD assistant chief Jeremiah Hunter tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that the fentanyl in Columbia is likely coming in from China, via Mexico.
“They’re getting pills and it’s being pressed locally or overseas and it’s coming in in volume. Probably most likely through Mexico, all the way here,” Hunter says.
Hunter tells listeners there were at least 30 overdose deaths in Columbia last year. He says there have been at least 25 overdose deaths in the city in 2022, with most or all of them fentanyl-related.
Assistant chief Hunter encourages parents to talk to their children about the issue. He notes more than 150 people attended an emergency meeting last October at Hickman high school.
“Out of that meeting last year, the Overdose Response Coalition of Boone County kind of grew out of that. And so they’re doing a lot of education, they’re doing a lot of research too,” says Hunter.
Authorities say drugs like cocaine are being made with fentanyl and users don’t know it’s in there. Columbia/Boone County public health officials have described fentanyl as 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Click here to listen to the “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” interview with Columbia assistant police chief Jeremiah Hunter.