Opioid overdoses on the rise in Lafayette Co., narcotics unit says

WATCH: Opioid overdoses on the rise in Lafayette Co., narcotics unit says

Lafayette County, MS — The start of the year has brought an alarming number of drug overdoses in one of Mississippi’s biggest counties, according to the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit.

Officials said that in just 13 days, 4 overdoses have been reported, 3 of those fatal.

The trend is due to an uptick in drugs laced with fentanyl, a very powerful opioid pain medication, the narcotics unit said.

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Narcotics agents said the uptick is mainly due to prescription drugs like Percocet, Hydrodoconde, Xanax, and Oxycodone being made with fentanyl.

Fentanyl has also been found in meth, ecstasy, and heroin, Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit said.

FOX13 spoke to Oxford Police Chief Jeff McCutchen who says this is something that law enforcement is too familiar with.

Chief McCutchen says what happened in the first few weeks of this year looks a lot like the spikes he saw last year.

“This is a trend that we saw last year but these prescription drugs are so easily available that it is falling into the wrong hands and even the dealers are using fentanyl to cut it so they can make it last longer, and they can expand their supply which we know has deadly results.” Chief McCutchen said.

The Chief says these days drug dealers are pressing their own pills and even a microscopic amount of fentanyl added in is enough to kill.

“It’s very little compared to the common medicine and it can have deadly results,” the Chief said.

According to McCutchen, responding to the overdose calls is extremely traumatic for the officers as well.

“Thankfully we have Narcan, but we are using a lot of it right now, and we are having to rethink how our officers are carrying Narcan and how they are using it,” McCutchen said.