GLEN CARBON - A presentation was given at the last Glen Carbon Village Board meeting earlier this month to teach Glen Carbon trustees and residents about the opioid epidemic, dangers of fentanyl, how to use NARCAN, and much more.

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Katie Robberson, a former ECUSD No. 7 Board member, was joined by Violette Book of Chestnut Health Systems for the presentation. Robberson began by citing the story of Anna Schmidt, an 18-year-old Edwardsville High School senior who died from a fentanyl overdose earlier this summer. She said Anna’s family gave her permission to use her name and share her story.

“Her parents, by all accounts, had done everything right,” Robberson said. “They had hard conversations and had systems in place … they had done all the things that a parent today would think to do to protect their children.”

She then shared part of the viral Facebook post explaining the entirety of Anna’s story, which can be read here. She included the following statistics:

Robberson added that the DEA is currently struggling with “fake” pills containing fentanyl but designed to look like other prescription pills. She said the public “can’t trust a dealer” and should not take any pills that were not given to them by a pharmacy or legally regulated supplier. If they are uncertain where a pill came from, they should have it tested, she added.

“We have a pretty good idea who gave the pill to Anna. We aren’t certain they knew they were giving her straight fentanyl,” she said. “Oftentimes, dealers don’t realize - they often aren’t smart enough to know the difference.”

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Robberson shared even more statistics and information in the full presentation, which can be watched at the top of this story or on the Village of Glen Carbon Facebook page.

Violette Book with Chestnut Health Systems, explained the opioid crisis began when doctors began prescribing patients with severe pain opioids such as morphine, heroin, and even fentanyl, under the notion they were not addictive - a claim which later turned out to be false.

Book added that not everyone who takes opiates becomes addicted the first time, but some individuals with Substance Abuse Disorder can be more prone to addiction. She provided more detailed information about how to spot a potential overdose, how to use NARCAN, and more in the full presentation.

"It is our job to go out into the community and do exactly what we're doing here tonight — educate you on what's going on with the opioid epidemic, how to use NARCAN and make sure that Narcan and training are available to everyone for free," she said.

Book added that NARCAN is available from Chestnut 100% cost-free, and they also have fentanyl test strips, anonymous reporting forms, and much more available. For more information, email SR-NARCAN@chestnut.org.

A recording of the full presentation from Robberson and Book is available at the top of this story or on the Village of Glen Carbon Facebook page.

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