Overdose deaths increasing in the Springfield, Mo. area

Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 5:21 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Just two months into 2022, the Springfield Police Department is reporting eight overdose fatalities.

Springfield Police Captain Tony Vienhage said the deaths are related to opioid use. In 2021, SPD responded to 566 overdose calls with 61 of them fatal.

“Our detectors have targeted high-level targets, high-level dealers, that are bringing it into the area,” said Capt. Vienhage. “That is hard to stop.”

SPD says there isn’t a certain demographic seen when it comes to overdosing. Springfield officers started to carry Narcan, the overdose reversal medication, in 2020.

This news hits home for Ryan Pascale. This August will mark five years of sobriety from opioids and IV drugs.

“I’m blessed that I wasn’t one of those statistics, because I very well could have been,” said Pascale.

She now works for Higher Grounds Recovery Center, an outpatient substance use treatment program.
She understands the battle of fighting addiction.

“It feels next to impossible when you are on heroin because the withdrawal is so bad,” said Pascale. “You want to get clean and you want to be sober. I mean, you want to do the right thing, but it just keeps you in this vicious cycle.”

Pascale said there are several options across the Ozarks for treatment and to not give up on a loved one if they’re in a similar situation.

“You can’t enable them,” said Pascale. “There’s a fine line between enabling and helping.”

She wants to show others that reaching sobriety is possible.

“I was never going to change and here I am,” said Pascale. “I’m changed and so it is possible for people to find recovery and to live a whole new lifestyle for the rest of their life.”

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

Copyright 2022 KY3. All rights reserved.