Portland police releases new numbers showing the dangers of fentanyl

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:53 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Portland Police shared new data about fentanyl, showing just how widespread and dangerous it is.

Already, almost half of the 58 overdose deaths in Portland this year are suspected to be from fentanyl.

Fentanyl is extremely potent, usually blue in color, and referred to as M30′s in pill form, made to look like common pharmaceutical drugs like Oxycodone or Xanax.

Police said drug cartels want people to get hooked on this because it’s so cheap for them to make, but the problem is people are mistakenly buying it thinking they’re getting another drug, and just a little bit can be deadly.

One kilogram costs $1,000 to produce and has the potential to kill half a million people.

Since last summer, the PPB Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit has seized nearly 570,000 fentanyl pills and more than 4,000 grams of powder.

One of the biggest concerns is that so many young people are accidentally overdosing on this.

Data shows last year 11 kids younger than 17 and more than 50 people age 18 to 24 died from fentanyl in Oregon.

Last month, we spoke with PPB’s Narcotics Lieutenant about how big of an issue fentanyl is right now.

“It’s a problem that’s been around for a few years, but it appears to only be getting worse judging by our call load,” Lt. Chris Lindsey said at the time. “We’re seeing it across all demographics, all socioeconomic statuses, all geographies throughout the city of Portland. We’re encountering it everywhere.”

As far as what PPB is doing to curb this problem, officers respond to overdose deaths they’re notified about and work backwards to try to find the supplier. They also do interdiction, trying to intercept and seize loads of drugs in transit. And they do controlled buys where they’ll go back and do a search warrant on the supplier.