Illicit and addictive pills that can kill quickly have plagued rural communities for years. Now the crisis has become so endemic in American culture that urban areas are starting to see an impact.
Local note . . .
The situation in Kansas City appears to be similarly dire. Imani House, an adult substance abuse treatment center run by Swope Health Services, has been forced to add a waiting list because of surging demand.
“We had to cap the number of people who can come in and be treated because there was such a flood of people coming that we had to create a wait list, which is not something we wanted to do,” said Darla Belflower, program manager of substance use disorder services at Imani House.
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Drug overdose deaths in Kansas spiked by nearly 24% last year while overdose deaths in Missouri increased by nearly 20%, according to newly released government figures. Nationwide, a record high of more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2020, up nearly 30 percent over the roughly 72,000 overdose deaths in 2019.