“If I told you that one cause of U.S. deaths increased by more than 21,000 people from 2019 to 2020, that equates to over 270 Americans per day, versus the previous year at 198, to then have more than 100,000 die last year to the same cause, would that get your attention?”
That’s how Crestview Mayor JB Whitten started his speech to the Fort Walton Beach City council last Tuesday. Mayor Whitten made his address during the public comments portion of the meeting.
Major Whitten spoke about the increase in fatal opioid overdoses. He stated that one of the primary reasons for the increase in deaths is linked to “lacing”. The practice of “lacing” is when two or more substances are mixed together. For example, buying marijuana laced with Fentanyl where the buyer may or may not be aware of it.
- This means that instead of just taking the marijuana, the user would also be subject to the effects of the Fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
The Mayor has started a push for an anti-opioid campaign by inviting the citizens of Crestview, and surrounding areas, to attend a summit on September 30th beginning at 10:00 AM at the Crestview Community Center, located at 1446 Commerce Dr, Crestview, FL 32539.
The founder and CEO of Project Opioid will be conducting the summit to help educate the public and develop actionable plans to reduce the number of deaths due to overdoses.
- The mayor has also partnered with the Northwest League of Cities to raise awareness of this summit across the Northwest part of the Panhandle.
“This summit is not about any elected officials,” added Mayor Whitten. “It’s not about the city. It’s about us saving our citizens. I beg you as city leaders to encourage your citizens to attend this free summit.”