Preliminary data released today by local law enforcement agencies show there were 54 deaths from fentanyl-related overdoses in 2021. The deaths occurred between January and September of 2021.
Deaths are from those believing they were using cocaine or methamphetamine, both of which are being found laced with fentanyl. Officials said they do not have data on those unknowingly exposed to fentanyl.
More than 200 people in northern Nevada died of drug overdoses in 2021.
“Regional law enforcement officers caution citizens about street drugs,” officials said. “Prior warnings have advised citizens about the dangers of possibly purchasing and using counterfeit prescription medication. Local law enforcement is now finding cocaine and methamphetamine laced with fentanyl as well as an increase in powdered fentanyl being sold on the street.”
Those dealing with addiction are recommended to keep naloxone on hand, which can reverse opioid overdoses. Naloxone is available over-the-counter at most drug stories.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used for pain treatment, is an increasingly popular – and dangerous – street drug. Most fentanyl overdoses are from illegally made fentanyl.
“Rates of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, increased over 16% from 2018 to 2019,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids were nearly 12 times higher in 2019 than in 2013. More than 36,000 people died from overdoses involving synthetic opioids in 2019.
“The latest provisional drug overdose death counts through May 2020 suggest an acceleration of overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic.”