Fentanyl on the rise in Missouri and Kansas

JOPLIN, Mo. (KSNF/KODE) – Strong narcotics like fentanyl are seen more in Missouri and that doesn’t rule out our metro area.

“Unfortunately, fentanyl is a lot easier to get than some of these other drugs, so I think you’re seeing a rapid rise in fentanyl,” said Sloan Rowland, chairman of the Ozark Drug Enforcement Team. and Chief of Police of Joplin.

In 2018, when prescription drugs like oxycodone became less available to the general public, many switched to other opioids like heroin and fentanyl. But it wasn’t until last year that the Ozark Drug Enforcement team began noticing a sharp rise in the situation.

“About two years ago we were seizing probably about 200 grams of fentanyl, the Ozark Drug Enforcement team was. Last year they seized 1,785 grams.

And with more fentaynl on the streets, there’s more chance of fatal consequences.

“I think you see an increased risk of overdose if you don’t know exactly what you’re taking when you take an illegal drug. We now see marijuana and heroin with added fentanyl.

Once these drugs are removed from the streets, the danger is not eliminated.

Officers must be very careful when handling some of these drugs because of their potency. Even if they come into contact with your skin, it could have dangerous consequences.

“This is a dangerous substance, so even a tiny bit of residue can cause great damage, so try to be extremely careful when dealing with it. Make sure you have gloves, be sure to you that the packages are unopened, you don’t want anything flying away,” said captain Will Davis.

To add extra precautions, a special drug screening kit is used to test for narcotics.

“Fortunately, we have increased the technology which has allowed us to use a real narcotics detection system which we can basically hold until the packaging of the illegal narcotic, it will scan it and that will give us a preliminary indication of what this narcotic is.”

But accidents can still happen. So if an officer comes into contact with drugs, there’s always a plan.

“If for some unforeseen reason they are exposed, we have narc here in place that we can administer and help get them out of that,” Davis said.

Once the drugs are tested, they are then sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab for confirmation.

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