Mississippi State partners with Attorney General Fitch to raise awareness about fentanyl dangers

From left, participating in the launch of the One Pill Can Kill initiative at Mississippi State are Joseph McClatchy, Public Education and Community Engagement, Office of the Attorney General; Col. Stephen Maxwell, Director, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics; Wendy Bailey, Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Mental Health; Attorney General Lynn Fitch; Joan Lucas, MSU General Counsel; Regina Hyatt, MSU Vice President for Student Affairs; Jeremy Baham, MSU Associate Vice President for Student Affairs; and Santee Ezell, Director, MSU Office of Health Promotion and Wellness.

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University has partnered with Attorney General Lynn Fitch in the One Pill Can Kill campaign, a public awareness initiative designed to educate, support, and empower Mississippians by providing information on the risks associated with fentanyl, how to recognize it, and the appropriate response in case of a possible overdose.

“The participation of Mississippi State, one of our largest universities, is vital in the fight against the fentanyl crisis through the One Pill Can Kill campaign,” remarked General Fitch. “By increasing awareness about the dangers of fentanyl and arming students with the necessary knowledge and tools to intervene during an overdose, we can help save lives. I extend my gratitude to all our collaborative partners who are united in combating this deadly epidemic.”

Regina Hyatt speaks at the podium during the One Pill Can Kill campaign event at MSU.
Regina Hyatt, MSU Vice President for Student Affairs, addresses attendees at the recent One Pill Can Kill event on Monday, Feb. 19, spreading awareness to save lives. (Photos by Jonah Holland)

The One Pill Can Kill campaign is part of a dual-pronged approach to combat fentanyl. As part of this effort, the Attorney General’s Office is distributing 22,000 Fentanyl Harm Prevention Kits, each containing two fentanyl test strips along with safety gloves, a safe drug disposal bag, and a pill identification card to determine the drug’s authenticity. These kits are being provided to colleges, universities, law enforcement facilities, community mental health centers, and various community organizations. Additionally, General Fitch has established the AGO Fentanyl Strike Force to train and mobilize law enforcement officers and prosecutors statewide to effectively investigate and prosecute fentanyl-related cases.

Attendees at the announcement included Joan Lucas, General Counsel for Mississippi State University; Wendy Bailey, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health; and Col. Stephen Maxwell, Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

Dr. Mark E. Keenum, President of Mississippi State University, stated, “We aim to cultivate an environment at Mississippi State University where all students can pursue their education and personal growth in a supportive and nurturing setting. We also strive to educate our students about the risks they may encounter and empower them with the knowledge to make informed decisions and provide assistance to others. The threat posed by fentanyl is significant for our students and the broader community. Nevertheless, I am confident that by joining forces, both within our state and nationwide, we can overcome the opioid crisis. We are proud to be part of the One Pill Can Kill campaign, led by Attorney General Fitch, as we collaboratively educate and empower our students and fellow Mississippians.”

As part of the collaboration, the Attorney General’s Office has delivered 1,000 Fentanyl Harm Prevention Kits to MSU students and conducted a training session on the proper use of fentanyl test strips. Similar partnerships have been established with the University of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi, and Alcorn State University since the initiative’s inception.

Wendy Bailey, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, remarked, “It is likely that every Mississippian knows someone affected by substance abuse or addiction. Drug dependency and mental health concerns do not discriminate based on age, race, or background. Initiatives like the One Pill Can Kill campaign are paramount to raising awareness. Every individual should be aware of the available resources in their communities. The Fentanyl Harm Prevention Kits provide invaluable resources that are already making a difference in saving lives. The Department of Mental Health is honored to be part of this initiative.”

Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell of Mississippi stated, “Our collaboration with Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Mississippi State University, the Department of Mental Health, and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics on the ‘One Pill Can Kill’ campaign is a source of pride. Through our collective efforts, we are not only saving lives but also educating our students and future leaders about the profound impact of the fentanyl crisis.”

For more information about One Pill Can Kill, visit AttorneyGeneralLynnFitch.com/OnePill or request a Fentanyl Harm Prevention Kit via email at onepill@ago.ms.gov.

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