Staggering Fentanyl Confiscations Highlight A Growing Problem In Montana
In the first half of 2023, the amount of Fentanyl confiscated more than doubled compared to the total amount seized in the previous year.
According to the DEA, a staggering 46 million fentanyl pills and 6,900 pounds of fentanyl powder have been apprehended nationwide.
It's emphasized that even a minute dose of 2 milligrams of Fentanyl can be fatally dangerous, a tragic narrative regrettably becoming all too common nationwide.
Just recently, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen revealed that between January and June 30, the law enforcement unit known as the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force intercepted a combined total of 286,897 units of fentanyl doses in Montana.
In the previous year, this figure stood at 188,823 units.
That's a considerable leap from the 60,557 units in 2021, starkly contrasting to the mere 1,900 doses in 2019.
These quantities result from collaborative efforts by six task forces in Montana.
Notably, they also seized a 45% larger quantity of cocaine than the previous year.
Additionally, a nearly equivalent amount of methamphetamine was taken, with 187 pounds confiscated in the first half of this year.
Equally concerning is the notable surge in fatalities linked to Fentanyl in Montana, and the prior year witnessed 77 reported overdose deaths, which exceeded the 62 deaths recorded in 2021.
Preliminary data for 2023 indicates 48 confirmed deaths thus far.
It's important to note that the actual statewide tally could potentially be higher, as crime labs require post-mortem examinations to definitively establish overdose as the cause of death.
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen conveyed a clear message regarding the gravity of the situation.
In a press release, he asserted, "Fentanyl is an exceedingly difficult substance, inflicting poisoning and claiming the lives of Montanans at an alarming pace. Its influx from the unregulated southern border under President Biden's administration is infiltrating our local communities here in Montana."
Knudsen reiterated his commitment to battling the fentanyl issue from the Department of Justice's standpoint and urged individuals to educate themselves and their families about the perils associated with the substance.
He strongly advised against consuming any pill not prescribed by a medical professional.
Knudsen underlined the present moment as an opportunity to reflect on the lives lost to fentanyl overdose and acknowledge the profound impact it continues to have on communities.