By Max Goodwin
The Kansas City Police Department has seen an increase in accidental overdose deaths due to fentanyl laced drugs, said Officer Donna Drake during a media appearance Tuesday at KCPD Headquarters.
Police have seen an increase in fentanyl being laced specifically in oxycodone pills sold on the illegal black market. From 2019 to 2020, there was a 149 percent increase in fentanyl overdoses, according to regional data cited by Drake, with people between the ages of 15 to 24 years old who have been most at risk.
“We’re urging parents to have this conversation with your kids tonight over dinner,” Drake said. “Just warn them about not taking pills that are not prescribed to them.” The pills of concern are small, blue and stamped with an M on one side and the number 30 on the other side.
“It looks just like anything you could get from a doctor, however, these illegal ones are taking people’s lives.”
Those pills are the majority of what police are seeing laced with fentanyl, but it can be done with other drugs too, Drake said. A miniscule amount of fentanyl can be deadly. Even just 2 milligrams, about the size of a couple grains of salt, can kill.
Police say the best course of action is just to not take any drugs not prescribed to you by a doctor. “If it’s not prescribed by a doctor, you can’t say what is in it,” Drake said.
KCPD is working with local and federal partners, including the DEA, to track down where these fentanyl laced pills are coming from.
“A lot of these drugs are coming from out of the country, some of them are being made here, but they are working towards identifying those sources,” Drake said.
This problem isn’t solely an issue in Kansas City, police have seen the increase in fentanyl nationwide over the past decade, and an even greater increase in recent years.