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Fentanyl overdoses on the rise in Rapid City, law enforcement says

DOJ Opioids (copy)

A vial of fentanyl

Fentanyl seized off of Rapid City streets has increased by seven times over just one year.

In 2019, 12 grams of fentanyl were seized off the streets. That increased to 128 grams in 2020 and ballooned to 937 grams so far this year, according to data from the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team based in Rapid City. 

Since October, the Pennington County Fire Department has responded to at least 12 opioid overdoses where Narcan needed to be administered. The Rapid City Police Department is now carrying the opioid overdose treatment along with the fire department, according to a news release from the Pennington County Sheriff's Office. 

"Our agencies have noticed a dangerous upward trend in fatal and non-fatal overdose," the release states. 

While the use of Narcan is a helpful tool to help prevent fatal fentanyl overdoses, Rapid City Police Chief Don Hedrick said the community needs to get involved to help those suffering from drug addiction.

Chief Deputy Brian Mueller with the Pennington County Sheriff's Office said it’s time for the entire community to stand up against our local drug epidemic.

“The Pennington County Care Campus is a good resource for inpatient and outpatient services and can offer referrals as needed," Mueller said. "If you know someone struggling with addiction get them the resources they need.”

For more information on the One Pill Can Kill campaign, go to dea.gov/OnePill.

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