FHSU to host Sept. 21 town hall meeting on dangers of Fentanyl


Members of the community are invited to participate in an important community discussion on the dangers of Fentanyl and its increasingly deadly impact on our nation. 

Fentanyl: The Facts will be presented from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in the Memorial Ballroom on the campus of Fort Hays State University. 

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, more than 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids, including Fentanyl. 

“Evidence suggests that 6 out of every 10 pills with Fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose. This topic needs to be addressed on campus and in the community, as awareness and prompt response can help save lives,” said Walt Hill, executive director of High Plains Mental Health Center, one of the event’s principal sponsors.  

The town hall event will feature several guest speakers, including Tony Mattivi,  Director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and Dr. Steven Waring, who leads the Hays Medical Center Opioid Task Force. Discussion topics will include information on the effect of Fentanyl on the body, the prevalence of the drug in northwest Kansas, how to obtain and use Naloxone, a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose, the impact of the drug on teens and young adults, and where those affected by the drug can receive treatment and counseling. 

“Counterfeit pills and fentanyl are the biggest drug threat in our community. Overdoses and deaths are occurring in Hays, and we have to work together to educate our children on the dangers that they are facing. This town hall meeting will be instrumental in helping to keep our friends and family safe,” said Don Scheibler, Hays Chief of Police.

The City of Hays is the principal financial sponsor of the town hall meeting, and the High Plains Mental Health Center is the principal organizer. Many local agencies involved in combatting opioid abuse in the region, including the Hays Police Department, FHSU Health and Wellness Services, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department, and DCCCA, will also contribute speakers and expertise to the discussion. Dessert and coffee will also be provided for attendees.

High Plains Mental Health has created an event web page on Facebook where the community can learn more about this emerging public health crisis. Click here to visit the event page.