Feb 23, 2024 | Press Releases

Nunn Hosts Community Forum to Address Opioid Crisis in Rural Iowa

Atlantic, IA — U.S. Representative Zach Nunn today hosted an information session in Atlantic, IA to share best practices and develop new approaches to help combat the opioid crisis in rural Iowa.  

“Too many Iowans know a family member or friend who is dealing with an addiction to opioids. We can and must do more to save lives from overdoses.,” said Rep. Nunn. “Today’s discussion provided valuable insights into the tools communities need to address this crisis. I’m grateful to the members of law enforcement, medical professionals, and community leaders who joined us today to share best practices to combat this epidemic. I look forward to taking what we learned today to Congress as we develop commonsense solutions to address this ongoing crisis.” 

More than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021 were attributed to synthetic opioids other than methadone—primarily fentanyl. In fact, fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18-45. The opioid crisis is so bad that the FDA approved over-the-counter naloxone nasal spray in 2023 to give Americans more access to lifesaving treatment to counter overdoses. 

Rep. Nunn has hosted dozens of open forums with the community to hear from law enforcement, health care professionals, and concerned Iowans regarding the growing impacts of the opioid epidemic. In response to those conversations, Rep. Nunn introduced the Communities of Recovery Reauthorization Act to support Iowans fighting addiction which passed the House of Representatives on December 13, 2023. Rep. Nunn also introduced bipartisan legislation to increase access to naloxone to prevent overdose deaths in November 2023.  

Today’s event was attended by more than fifty members of the Cass County community. Panelists included Atlantic Police Chief Devin Hogue, Decatur County Sheriff Chris Lane, representatives from the Office of the Iowa Attorney General, Cass County Chief Medical Director Elaine Barry, Atlantic Mayor Grace Garrett, and Deric Kidd, who lost his son to fentanyl. Photos of the event can be found below.

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ZN Cass