Fentanyl use on the rise in Box Elder County

Mar 22, 2023, 7:09 PM | Updated: 7:12 pm

TREMONTON, Utah — Police in Box Elder County are asking people to watch out for fentanyl use in their loved ones.

During recent months, officers say they have dealt with about forty overdoses and three deaths. Dealers are mixing it with other drugs, like heroin and meth, and sometimes getting users unwittingly addicted to the much more potent and very dangerous fentanyl.

Tremonton Assistant Police Chief Brian Crockett said that many of the drug deals are happening over social media, which is another reason for parents to keep an eye on their teen’s devices.

He said to watch out for code-words that people use for fentanyl: like dirty thirties, fennies, or skittles.

“We don’t want people dying and not only does it affect the people that are choosing to take this drug on their own, but you know their kids get into it,” Crockett said. “First responders that show up to save their lives, they can e exposed to it. It can kill them.”

Crockett also points out that Narcan saves lives. Officers keep it on hand, and they’ve used it many times. He said in one case, an officer had to use four doses of Narcan to revive someone from an overdose.

“If someone you know is abusing opioids or heroin or drugs like that, go to your pharmacy, get some Narcan, and have it on hand. It really does save lives,” he said. “We see it all the time where we’ll show up on scene and somebody is out cold and they’re on the verge of death. We’ll give them Narcan and they’re speaking to us in just a matter of moments.”

An undercover sergeant with the Box Elder Narcotic Strike Force said these more rural communities had stayed relatively clear of fentanyl for some time.

“We knew where it was coming, where it was going, but we’re like, ‘oh it hasn’t hit our area yet. We’re lucky,’ but all of a sudden it just, boom, hit us hard,” the undercover sergeant said. “Talk to your loved ones, you know. If they have a problem, the biggest thing is communication.”

They say a little better awareness and vigilance from the public could help save lives.

“Our friends and our neighbors are dying in our community from it,” Crockett said.

And a couple of things to watch out for, Crockett says addicts will often have trouble staying awake, they may be constantly nodding off. He says Fentanyl users will also often burn it in foil, leaving small pieces of foil that may have black burn markings laying around.

“We just got to get the word out there. Fentanyl is killing people. Narcan is your best friend,” the undercover sergeant said.

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Fentanyl use on the rise in Box Elder County