Disturbing Trend: 12 Mesa County Deaths Attributed To Illicit Fentanyl In 2022
The Grand Junction Police Department is warning the Grand Junction community about the distribution of dangerous fentanyl pills in Mesa County.
Deadly Pills Seized In Mesa County
In the last two weeks, some 60,000 fentanyl pills have been seized in Mesa County. These have been referred to as "blues" and "rainbows." According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, fentanyl is the deadliest threat facing the country. The CDC says more than 100,000 Americans died in 2021 from drug overdoses and 66% of those deaths were attributed to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The DEA reports drug poisonings are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18-45.
12 Mesa County Deaths Connected To Fentanyl In 2022
The Mesa County Coroner's Office has confirmed 12 deaths related to fentanyl so far in 2022. It's a disturbing trend when you consider the fact that in 2019, Mesa County reported just three fentanyl-related deaths. The Mesa County Sheriff's Office, GJPD, and the Western Colorado Drug Task Force are working with Mesa County Valley School District 51 to help educate students and staff on the dangers of fentanyl, and are encouraging parents to have conversations with their children about this dangerous drug.
The GJPD says "rainbow fentanyl" is a new method that drug cartels use to attract children and teens to this highly addictive and potentially deadly drug. There are claims that certain colors may be more potent than others, but DEA testing has not confirmed that. It says every color, shape, and size of fentanyl should be considered extremely dangerous.
Where Does Fentanyl Come From?
Fentanyl distribution in the U.S. is big business. The DEA says the fentanyl is largely supplied by two criminal drug networks, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG)
Fentanyl Is Far More Potent Than Heroin or Morphine
According to the DEA, fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose. If you come across fentanyl, the DEA says you shouldn't even handle it and call 911 immediately.
To learn more about the dangers of fentanyl, check out the DEA's fentanyl awareness page. It's loaded with information to increase awareness - and decrease the demand for this drug.