Three moms focus awareness of overdose threats in Sioux Falls

The Sioux Falls Police Department and county sheriff in South Dakota have reported a 216% increase in the amount of fentanyl seized from 2020 to 2022. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is known to be many times more powerful than the legal versions of prescription painkillers and can slow body functions to the point of death. On Monday, May 8, Sioux Falls area law enforcement officials teamed up with two mothers who had lost their sons to drug overdoses to raise awareness of fentanyl and its use in combination with xylazine, an animal tranquilizer. May 9 was National Fentanyl Awareness Day, and the need for education and awareness about the drug and its danger was emphasized. Sioux Falls police chief, Jon Thum, acknowledged a decrease in the number of overdose deaths in Sioux Falls last year, but highlighted the need for education and awareness. The new partnership between Emily’s Hope, a non-profit organization, and The Link, the city’s triage center for people with mental health or substance abuse issues, will offer fentanyl testing strips to drug users. These strips enable drug users to know if they are taking fentanyl, which could prevent further deaths from overdoses.