Montgomery County DA warns of rising fentanyl overdoses

Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 6:53 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The number of drug overdoses is skyrocketing in central Alabama, according to the Montgomery Country district attorney’s office.

It’s also a problem nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

“If you’re buying drugs on the streets of Montgomery, you’re playing Russian roulette with your life,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey. “We saw a 30% increase in drug overdoses in 2020, and then a 15% over that last year, so it is continuing to rise. It has not slowed down, unfortunately.

Overdoses are on the rise, according to Bailey.

“We are seeing almost weekly, sometimes two or three times a week, people who are overdosing on drugs, and what it comes back when we finally get their autopsy is fentanyl toxicity,” said Bailey.

He says during this past grand jury there was about 20 overdoses in a three-month period, and nearly 90% of those were fentanyl-related.

“So when you’re buying pills on the street, whether it be Adderall or Xanax or something like that, you don’t know whether it has fentanyl in it or not,” said Bailey. “These drug dealers are putting fentanyl in just about everything that they can now.”

Bailey wants parents to know and warn their kids. Authorities have seen fentanyl laced in marijuana, pills, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. Drug dealers are lacing common drugs sold on the streets of Montgomery with fentanyl and buyers are unaware of what they are getting.

“Drug dealers are looking to make things as cheap as possible to maximize their profits,” said Bailey.

And the price you pay could be your life.

“Drug dealers don’t care, and whether you die or not is not their concern,” said Bailey.

Bailey says it’s tough to catch the individuals selling drugs.

“We do have laws that address that. We will we will prosecute anybody who is selling drugs on the streets of Montgomery, and especially selling drugs that are laced with fentanyl,” said Bailey.

This is why he is offering this warning and urges anyone who knows someone who is addicted to drugs to get them help.

“Help them get rid of that addiction. It could literally as we all know, save their life,” said Bailey.

Bailey is also committed to protecting law enforcement. Fentanyl it’s extremely dangerous to our law enforcement officers.

“We want all of our officers to have this Narcan device,” said Bailey. “It’s just something that they need to have with them at all times because they can inject this and it will reverse the effects pretty immediately.”

In Washington, Rep. Barry Moore spoke Tuesday on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives about the massive number of American deaths from fentanyl. He is co-sponsoring a bill that would classify fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction.

A law went into effect June 1 making fentanyl test strips legal in Alabama. The strips are designed to prevent potential overdoses by detecting when fentanyl is present in other drugs.

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