Non-profit Emily’s Hope and law enforcement join forces to raise awareness of fentanyl epidemic

Sioux Falls, SD – Emily’s Hope, a non-profit organization, will participate in the Law Enforcement Briefing at the Law Enforcement Center with Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum and Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead on Monday, May 8, 2023. The briefing will feature Emily’s Hope Founder Angela Kennecke and local mother Alicia Steinfurth, who have children to fentanyl poisoning. The event will highlight the impact of the fentanyl epidemic and raise awareness of National Fentanyl Awareness Day on May 9, 2023.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid responsible for the highest number of deaths among Americans aged 18-45. Synthetic opioid overdoses, including fentanyl, have doubled among teenagers in the past three years, and 73% of them are unaware of fake prescription pills made with fentanyl. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is being mixed with other drugs like Oxy, Percocet, and Xanax, and even party drugs like cocaine and MDMA, to increase profits, without any regulation or quality control. This has put users at risk of poisoning and overdose, with as little as two milligrams of fentanyl being fatal.

In partnership with The Link, Emily’s Hope is working to distribute fentanyl testing strips as widely as possible in the community. The South Dakota Legislature recently made fentanyl testing strips legal in South Dakota. The Law Enforcement Briefing aims to bring attention to the fentanyl epidemic and how the community is being impacted by it.

The briefing will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 8, 2023, at the Law Enforcement Center, located at 320 W. 4th Street in Sioux Falls. The event aims to educate the public about the dangers of fentanyl and raise awareness of National Fentanyl Awareness Day. Fentanyl is the most significant public health crisis facing the nation today. Angela Kennecke, Alicia Steinfurth, Sheriff Mike Milstead, and Police Chief Jon Thum will be in attendance.

Editor/Producer Note:

Angela Kennecke, CEO and Founder of Emily’s Hope, is available for interviews on National Fentanyl Awareness Day. Angela has been featured on NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, CBS This Morning, NewsNation, and dozens of other national outlets.

Over the last decade, Angela has focused many of her stories on the growing opioid crisis. Tragically, her 21-year-old daughter, Emily, died of a fentanyl overdose. In the wake of this personal loss, Angela has taken Emily’s story nationwide and even internationally. She speaks tirelessly about the issues surrounding opioid addiction, a parent’s frustration, and a sense of helplessness, all from the perspective of a mother who has lost her child.

To schedule an interview with Angela Kennecke, please contact Anna Fey at [email protected]

National Fentanyl Awareness Day is a day of action on May 9, 2023, that aims to raise awareness about an urgent national problem: people are dying at alarming rates due to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid. This National Fentanyl Awareness Day, we’re proud to spread the word to save lives. Join us!

Emily’s Hope is dedicated to removing the stigma of substance use disorder through awarenesseducation, and prevention; and removing financial barriers for treatment and recovery. Our prevention education curriculum is designed to give K-12 students the tools they need to make better choices as they head into their teenage years. 

Prevention is key to ending deaths caused by overdose, and we need your support to make this possible. By giving children the tools they need to make informed decisions, we can create a safer and healthier future for all.