In Pinal County, representatives answer fentanyl calls every 40 hours
Florence, Ariz. – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 93,000 people died from a drug overdose last year in the United States, with fentanyl being a major contributor. This week, Drug Enforcement Administration Issued a public safety warning for the first time in six years, due to a rise in counterfeit pills.
Arizona is being hit particularly hard as nearly 6 million pills were confiscated in the state last year alone. Officials said the state has crossed this number so far this year.
In Pinal County, Sheriff Mark Lambo told Granthshala News that he had more overdoses than COVID-19 deaths last year, but not every overdose was fatal. Their representatives now answer calls involving fentanyl every 40 hours.
“Honestly, we are looking at a disaster,” Lamb said. “Twenty-five percent of the people who are in my prison right now are because of alcohol or drugs. So yeah, it’s a big influence in our communities.”
Lamb said his team is struggling to cope with the recent influx of illegal M-30 fentanyl bullets along the US-Mexico border.
“We keep seeing human trafficking and drug trafficking in this country until we secure our border, I always tell people that this is not a political issue, it is an issue that the US And American is about protecting communities,” Lamb said. “What we are seeing is an enormous amount of human trafficking and drugs in this country”.
Parents losing children to fentanyl poisoning sound alarm about counterfeit bullets coming across the border
Tours in his county are increasing every year, from 0 pills in 2018 to 700 in 2019, then 200,000 pills in 2020, and over 1.1 million so far this year.
Lamb said, “We expect that number to be even higher before the end of the year. This is staggering and should be alarming for the American people, because we don’t even catch the 10% that are coming into this country.” are getting.”
San Tan Valley resident Misty Terrigino lost her 17-year-old daughter to an accidental fentanyl overdose earlier this year. She is now trying to raise awareness so that this does not happen to other families.
“It was just a normal night,” she said. “I went upstairs and knocked on his door and there was no response and I just knew, I knew something was terribly wrong.”
“The night before this happened we really just talked about prescription medicine. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that conversation. She wasn’t that kind of kid, she didn’t go to parties, She was an honor role student, she was just like any other kid,” Tergino said.
Terrigino said that while his daughter’s case is still under investigation, they know the bullet that killed her was purchased on the social media app Snapchat and delivered directly to her door. They are still trying to capture the account user. She said the pill was supposed to be Percocet, but a lethal dose of fentanyl was given instead.
“It only takes once, it only takes one pill,” she said. “It’s so cheap, it’s accessible, people will deliver it to them. It’s the perfect recipe for disaster, and that’s exactly what happens”.
Looking at the entire southwest border, fentanyl seizures have just more than doubled this year.
customs and Border Protection 1,904 pounds of fentanyl were confiscated in fiscal year 2018; 2,633 in 2019; 4,510 in 2020 and 9,978 from last October.
Terrigino is hoping that more parents will talk with their kids about the dangers of using the pills. She will host an annual event to honor the lost, as well as to spread the word, offering NARCAN training and fentanyl test strip demonstrations.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office continues to work round the clock to deal with this issue. They always ask the public to come forward to hear or view any information.
“We are doing the best we can, we work with the Border Patrol, we use our aviation with the Border Patrol, we have an anti-smuggling unit that is actively watching in the desert, we have drug units. There are those who go out and go to drug dealers and people who are pushing fentanyl pills and methamphetamines and marijuana,” Lamb said.
He continued, “We’re constantly working every day. We have our dogs interfering on highways because our county has I-8 and I-10 corridors, the two main ones for drug cartels in this country.” There are arteries and humans”.