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The Opioid Task Force received a report from the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department’s Kenosha Drug Operations Group (KDOG) stating that fentanyl has been detected in all types of counterfeit pills, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is approved for treating patients with chronic severe pain from illnesses such as advanced cancer, or severe pain after a surgery. A Schedule II controlled substance, it is similar to morphine but 80–100 times more potent. Fentanyl overdoses that lead to death can come from an amount small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil.
“It’s important to know that, from what we’re seeing in the community, fentanyl is everywhere — in all types of street drugs and illegally-obtained prescriptions,” said Kari Foss, chairperson of the Kenosha County Opioid Task Force. “This creates an extremely dangerous situation for users who don’t know what they’re getting.”
Fentanyl factors prominently into the drug-related deaths locally so far this year, said Kenosha County Medical Examiner Patrice Hall. As of Oct. 1, out of 25 confirmed toxicity deaths, 19 — or 76 percent — involved fentanyl and/or a fentanyl analog, Hall said.
In September, the US Drug Enforcement Administration issued a public safety alert warning of the staggering increase of fentanyl-containing counterfeit prescription medications.
Valuable Resources to combat fentanyl overdoses
Vivent Health: Test Strips can be ordered that detect the presence of fentanyl in other substances. Call (262) 657-6644 for more information.
Kenosha County Public Health: Free training and supplies of Narcan, a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. For more information, visit The Kenosha County Narcan Distribution page, or call (262) 605-6741.
Kenosha County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resource Center: (262) 764-8555 Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kenosha Human Development Services: The Kenosha County Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, at (262) 657-7188.