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Fort Worth Police Warn About Rise In Fentanyl-Related Overdoses

Fentanyl laced pills
AP
/
U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah
File photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence in a 2019 trial shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation.

The MedStar ambulance service has seen an increase in opioid overdoses. Meanwhile, local law enforcement says fentanyl, a powerful and deadly synthetic opioid, is becoming more prevalent.

The Fort Worth Police Department has issued a warning about a rise in overdoses tied to fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, in and around Fort Worth.

The area has recently seen an overall rise in opioid overdoses. The Fort Worth-based ambulance service MedStar reports that from March of last year to March of this year, first responders treated 258 people for opioid overdoses — up more than 50% from the same period a year before.

medstar OD data
Matt Zavadsky
This chart shows the increase in patients who need the opioid-overdose reversing drug Narcan. The data was collected by MedStar, a Fort Worth-based ambulance service.

Fort Worth Police report a substantial increase in illicit distribution and possession of fentanyl.

Officer Jermy Prescott, who works on a task force that targets opioids, said that could be connected to the rise in overdoses. He warns about so-called cloned pills that have fentanyl in them but look a lot like real oxycodone pills.

"Our warning to people that are buying these pills, is that if you’re buying these pills and not getting them issued from a pharmacy, you are more than likely buying pills that contain fentanyl," he said.

Prescott said for those struggling with addiction, it's a good idea to keep the opioid overdose-reversing drug Narcan on hand.

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at msuarez@kera.org. You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

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