Community forum in Jenks discusses fentanyl overdoses, importance of Narcan access

JENKS, Okla. — Each hand raised inside a conference room in downtown Jenks highlighted the grip the fentanyl epidemic has on Oklahomans.

Community members gathered at The Hive in downtown Jenks Tuesday evening to discuss how fentanyl has impacted both people in the room and their loved ones.

“It came in like a train,” said Kyearra Morris, director of business development and founder of AMP resources.

Fentanyl can come from a dealer or a doctor.

“My first experience with fentanyl was surgical,” said Drew Laboon, admission and outreach director at Country Road, a recovery center for addicts.

He knows how addictive it is.

“It is an absolute incredible high and that is such a taboo thing to talk about, how good that feels,” she said.

Morris knows firsthand how addictive and deadly it can be. She works with addicts to provide them with resources and placement for recovery. She sees the impact on and off the job.

“Just over a year ago I started losing people to fentanyl. We place people all over the United States into treatment. I personally lost 47 people. I have attended 33 funerals and I just lost my cousin yesterday evening to fentanyl,” Morris said.

Despite this recent loss, she still showed up to emcee Tuesday’s forum.

“That is my drive my purpose and reason for doing this,” she said.

A room full of grieving family members, first responders, or just someone who wants to be educated watched a documentary on how deadly fentanyl is, how easy it is to get, and how dangerous it is.

Drew Laboon probably said it best though.

“Every injection, every hit, every pill you swallow, you are playing Russian Roulette,” he said.

After retiring from the military, Laboon said he struggled with alcohol and drugs. Fentanyl was a byproduct of surgery, and then it became something he would try recreationally from time to time. He said it didn’t take him long in those few experiences to appreciate just standing here during this interview.

“Enough for it to scare me of how much I enjoyed it. Anyone who tries it once is lucky to be alive,” he said.

Now Laboon helps addict at Country Road, a recover facility in Tecumseh.

But Tuesday night, he and the rest of the panel are helping people and the Jenks community understand before it gets to that point.

“If it hasn’t hit you in some way form or fashion directly, a close family member, friend, colleague, it will in the next year I can guarantee you,” Morris said.

Members of the panel also want people to have Narcan on hand which can be shipped to you for free.

You can sign up at this website or by texting the word Naloxone to the number *55155.