LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– The Louisiana Department of Health cites a 219% increase in fentanyl overdoes in Acadiana over a five year period. According to the CDC, fentanyl is the leading cause of death among Americans ages 18 to 45.

Women of Wisdom of Acadiana (WOW), an organization for women to unify and address community issues, is inviting the public to a Community Awareness Program this Wednesday, March 22, at the Downtown Convention Center.

This event is being held to raise awareness of the increase in fentanyl overdoes in the community as well as address the dangers and stigma surrounding the drug. Expert speakers will include LDH Region IV Medical Director Tina Stefanski, MD, Chief Medicolegal Investigator of the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office Keith Talamon, D-ABMDI, and LDH Region IV Opioid Prevention Outreach Coordinator Stacy Conrad.

“This is an important opportunity for members of the Lafayette community to come together and learn about the dangers of fentanyl,” said Mary Lib Guercio, a member of WOW, “We want to ensure that everyone has the information they need to stay safe and protect their loved ones.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in a Q&A session as well as talk to community health professionals about resources available to them. Experts will address the dangers and potency of fentanyl, signs and symptoms of an overdose, and how to respond in case of an overdose.

Acadian Ambulance will also be providing Narcan training and Narcan kits on site.