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Fentanyl is killing hundreds of Missourians

Nearly 800 Missourians died of opioid overdoses in the first half of 2021, and there's one major cause: the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Plus, emails show how quickly the state of Kansas bent to a company’s wishes to keep information out of public view, reflecting a disturbing national trend.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are projecting a nearly 20% jump in overdose deaths in Missouri this year. In the first half of 2021 alone, almost 800 Missourians died of an overdose. KBIA health reporter Sebastián Martínez Valdivia says experts attribute the spike to the prevalence of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Across the country, journalists are struggling to get public documents that involve private companies. Places like Kansas are even letting corporations black out public records, and that makes it harder to scrutinize government actions. Celia Llopis-Jepsen of the Kansas News Service reports.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and edited by Gabe Rosenberg & Lisa Rodriguez

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