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Apr
8
2019
City to host, televise forum on recent overdoses

In the wake of a number of instances where first responders have been dispatched to overdoses, especially due to possibly counterfeit pills, the City of Yuma is hosting an information forum Tuesday evening.

The event will be held in Council Chambers of City Hall, One City Plaza (3rd Street between 1st and Madison avenues) at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 9. People are invited to attend in person – there may be time for a brief question-and-answer session toward the end. For those who cannot attend in person at that time, the forum will be televised on City 73 TV for local cable subscribers and online for internet or mobile viewers.

The resulting video, once uploaded, will later be available for on-demand viewing through the City’s new video player service.

Yuma public safety agencies have been responding to a number of overdose cases this year, including at least two fatalities. Police and fire department personnel have conducted awareness presentations at local high schools. One version of these school presentations is available to view on the Yuma Union High School District’s page on YouTube.

This hour-long presentation, put together at the request of the Mayor and Council’s office, will cover Fentanyl, vaping, marijuana and Xanax/alprazolam.

“Most people are not purposefully trying to abuse Fentanyl,” noted Yuma Police Cpl. Erick Resendiz, who will lead Tuesday’s presentation. “They’re being accidentally exposed to it while trying to use other drugs that turn out to be laced with Fentanyl.”

Previous news releases from the Yuma Police Department have focused on a particular type of pill, likely counterfeit, which has been linked to a number of the overdoses. However, those pills are not the only ways to be exposed to Fentanyl. For example, police have found one synthetic marijuana form that looks like the real thing, but is actually 100 percent Fentanyl, Resendiz said.

Once Tuesday’s presentation is posted online and across City of Yuma social media, the City encourages users to share the link on their personal social media to expand awareness of this dangerous issue.