SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The number of overdose deaths in Springfield decreased last year, and a local recovery center believes this may be related to the distribution of Narcan.

Many groups in the city are banding together to help those struggling with addiction in hopes of keeping these numbers down.

“We need the entire community if we’re going to ever see a reduction instead of, you know, increases in those numbers. And we’ve started to,” says David Stoker with Better Life in Recovery.

The Springfield Police Department reported more opioids in the city last year, seizing almost four times more opioids in 2022 than in 2021.

Even though SPD is seeing more of the drug in the area, fewer people have died from heroin and fentanyl overdoses. Resources like Narcan vending machines and organizations like Better Life Recovery and APO distribute the rescue drug to those in need. 

Stoker says removing the stigma surrounding Narcan and recovering addicts could help keep numbers low. 

“I think there is hope. I think part of it is trying to reduce stigma and self-image that’s out there because of some of the misnomers and urban legends that exist about people who use drugs,” said Stoker.