Apr 12, 2024

Barton Co. marks April 24 as Drug Endangered Children Awareness Day

Posted Apr 12, 2024 9:00 PM

Great Bend Post

The Barton County Commission has supported several proclamations promoting various causes this month. At Tuesday's meeting, the board heard from Amy Ferguson, coordinator at Rise Up Central Kansas, and various other representatives for their proclamation to recognize April 24 as Drug Endangered Children Awareness Day.

"With the current fentanyl crisis in the nation, rural Kansas, Barton County, is no exception," Ferguson said. "We do see overdose deaths in Barton County. We have overdoses in the youth, also. This is a big job and it takes all sectors to get involved."

Each of the members from the various groups read part of the proclamation. Jillian Doyle, family support specialist with Kansas Children Service League, which serves 51 families, most of whom are drug-endangered, provided the statistics in her piece.

"140,860 children live in environments where parents or caregivers have a substance use disorder," she said, "and an estimated 5,155 Kansas infants born exposed to substance abuse yearly."

Commission Chair Barb Esfeld thanked the group for resilience in the battle. "I just want to thank you guys for never giving up," she said. "It gets frustrating, and sometimes you feel like the fight is almost too much. So thank you guys for hanging in there, keeping going, and not giving up."

The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children helped create the awareness day, which is set each year for the fourth Wednesday in April.