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Warning issued due to fentanyl-related deaths in Montana

Posted at 11:23 AM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-04 13:23:16-05

GREAT FALLS– The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about the dangers of fentanyl after a string of overdoses in the state.

Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is normally found in the form of a patch.

“Recently around the state, they are seeing it made into pills. Basically, people think they are getting a painkiller, but in reality, they are getting fentanyl,” Slaughter said.

The state crime lab reported three deaths from fentanyl in Billings with a week. There was another death in the Helena area.

“We just want to get awareness out. We want to make sure people understand how serious fentanyl is,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter added people need to be aware of what they are getting when it comes to painkillers.

“If they get fentanyl in their home, a child or someone else can get excess to it and it could kill a family member. It can be very very serious. People think they are getting something they are expecting, and getting fentanyl instead. It is something we need to be really vigilant about,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter encourages residents to use the drop box at the Montana Highway Patrol Office on 14th Street North in Great Falls.

-Margaret DeMarco reporting for MTN News