Substance Abuse Task Force asks residents to complete survey and consider Narcan training

Members of the Ozark County Substance Abuse Task Force meet regularly to develop ways to help Ozark Countians combat substance abuse and addiction here and also to help those who are battling addiction. Those attending a recent task force meeting were (front row, from left): Century Bank of the Ozarks assistant vice president Rhonda Hardcastle, community resident Kalen Hoffman, Ozark County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Dan Israel, Fellowship of Christian Athletes member Gracyn Blackburn, community resident Mary Ketchum, Ozark County Health Department administrator Rhonda Suter, Missouri Rep. Karla Eslinger. Back row: Dr. Masa Kinoshita, pastor Jeff Dotson, Treatment Court coordinator Jennifer Horn, Missouri Ozarks Community Health Network director Becky Gann, pastor David Evans, health professional Susan Taylor and Ozark County Prosecuting Attorney John Garrabrant.

The Ozark County Substance Abuse Task Force urges residents here to participate in the 2019 Region G Community Health Assessment, a public survey about available healthcare services and facilities here that is being conducted by Impact Advantage, a service that assists health agencies in developing emergency preparedness. The survey will be open through Sept 15. 

To access the survey, visit

The task force is also working to distribute information about new regulations related to Narcan, the brand-name medication for the generic drug Naloxone) that is used to counter the effects of opioid overdose. In July, regulations changed to provide Narcan for emergency use in Missouri high schools and other specific facilities, and a law was enacted saying Narcan is now available statewide without a prescription. 

The Missouri Overdose Rescue & Education (MORE) project provides Narcan and training to first responders in Ozark County as well as Douglas, Wright and Texas counties. Those interested in completing the training should visit and then click on the red button beside “Overdose Education and Naloxone Administration Training” halfway down the page. Once training is completed and paperwork is completed, the first responder can contact Karen Wallace at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and Narcan will be shipped for pickup. 

Community residents who are interested in completing the Narcan training are asked to contact the Ozark County Substance Abuse Task Force so that a training class can be scheduled. Email the task force at

At the task force’s Aug. 13 meeting, Missouri Ozarks Community Health rural health network director Becky Gann said the training would be appropriate for Ozark County teachers, school resource officers, courthouse representatives, religious leaders, healthcare professionals and “ordinary community residents.” 

It was stressed at the task force meeting that there is no criminal, civil or professional liability in providing Narcan to someone if it’s thought he or she is having an overdose and needs help.

The task force is making plans to operate a booth at Hootin an Hollarin and invites residents to stop by for more information.


Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423