June 14, 2024

Kentucky Police Seize Enough Fentanyl to Kill Two Million Americans

A small Kentucky sheriff’s department, within five years, has seized enough fentanyl to kill two million Americans, officials said Tuesday.

Residents of Madison County — a central Kentucky district home to fewer than 100,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — have “easy access” to the deadly drug, Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Terry told a local CBS News station.

County deputies have seized nearly eight pounds of fentanyl over the last five years.

Terry said, “2.2 pounds is a kilogram. That’s enough to kill 500,000 people. It’s so easy to access. And [there are] so many ways to use it. It’s mixed with a lot of the pills.”

A lethal dose of the drug could be a tiny amount, such as the size of a stick of pencil lead.

According to the deputy, many of the fatal overdoses have been due to drug users unknowingly consuming fentanyl. 

“The drug users don’t know, sometimes, that they are getting that. That is the unfortunate part. They put that into their body; they don’t survive,” said Terry.

The Voices of Hope Recovery Center in Lexington offers programs to help combat the epidemic, including more than 1,000 recovery meetings each year and a mobile van service that aids those who suffer addiction on the streets.

“They may have been in college and partying. Their friends are doing it. I don’t think people want to do dangerous drugs like fentanyl. It kind of progresses over time,” said program coordinator Gary Biggers.

“That’s the thing that impacts me the most. Because I have lost friends to fentanyl overdoses. They were unaware they were even doing fentanyl,” said Biggers, who uses his experience as a former drug addict to help others overcome it. 

He added that “we as a community need to get better to help people get in recovery. And help people realize the dangers of fentanyl.”

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