MS narcotics investigator talks fentanyl as DEA works to bring more awareness to deadly drug
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Drug Enforcement Administration is recognizing today as “National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day.”
According to the CDC, more than 150 people die every day from synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.
The DEA considers it the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered.
“We are actually seeing [fentanyl] on just about an everyday basis,” Vicksburg Narcotics Investigator Mario Grady said.
Grady said drug dealers are using what’s called a pill press to mix fentanyl into caffeine tablets, ecstasy, or just about any pill or tablet that they want.
This is not only posing a threat to those buying drugs but also to those seizing drugs.
“People are actually thinking that they are taking a party drug, and they are actually taking a pill that is laced with fentanyl,” Grady said.
“A lot of times, [police] think they might be dealing with a certain drug, and it’s not the drug that they think it is. A young officer may try to sniff it and say, ‘hey, let me see what it smells like,’ and it could be fentanyl. Just a quick whiff of that, and you’re overdosing,” he said.
Police officers aren’t the only ones concerned about fentanyl. State legislators are too.
This past session, at least two laws were passed that crack down on those supplying the drug.
One of them enhances penalties for those who use pill presses not registered with the Bureau of Narcotics.
Another one, Parker’s Law, creates a crime of fentanyl delivery resulting in death. Under the law, the dealers will face between 20 years to life in prison
According to the CDC, synthetic opioids like fentanyl made up nearly 70 percent of last year’s overdose deaths.
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