Dramatic rise in fentanyl-related overdoes in Idaho Falls – Local News 8 – LocalNews8.com

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – The dramatic rise in fentanyl-related overdoses across Idaho in the last two years has taken a toll on our community.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more powerful than Morphine. Bonneville County Law Enforcement officials tell us investigators found 200 pills throughout all of 2020.
But since the start of the year, police report seizing more than 5,000 pills. Police found upwards of 1,000 pills in a two-day period earlier this month.
“What we are seeing in our area is a large influx,” said Sgt. Bryan Lovell of the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office. “We’ve been seeing it for a while, but lately a large influx of pills and substances that are containing fentanyl in there. And it’s random and varying degrees of potency.”
Police often find fentanyl stashed or laced in other illegal drugs.
Some users may not even know they’re taking fentanyl.
“Sometimes it starts out as a pain management option,” RHS drug counselor Tiffany Hayner said. “But oftentimes people are just seeking a high and they sometimes they seek it out and sometimes they had used a substance and that fentanyl is mixed in there and they didn’t know it, but now they’re addicted to it because of that.”
Earlier this month Idaho Falls police made arrests in six separate incidents involving fentanyl or other drugs.
“We’re getting close to averaging one time a day that the law enforcement in Bonneville County in Idaho Falls is responding those things with Idaho Falls Fire in delivering Narcan and a lot of those cases. And then some of those are resulting in death. About a third of those. We’ve seen death occur,” Sgt. Lovell said.
According to Eastern Idaho Public Health, it only takes two milligrams of fentanyl to cause an overdose. Local drug counselors encourage loved ones of anyone with a known drug problem to pickup a NARCAN kit.
“Anybody can really get them. You can go and get them. The Center for Hope here in Idaho Falls, they have them and they will have them out and they’re free,” Hayner said.
Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.
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