The Portland Police Bureau continues to raise awareness regarding the dangers of illegally produced and sold fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, and can be up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. While it has a medical use under licensed professionals, over the years, fentanyl has become a cheap drug, sold in pill form, usually blue in color and often referred to as M30s. They are often stamped to resemble pharmaceutical drugs, such as oxycodone or Xanax. Fentanyl also can come in powder form and can be cut into other drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), 42 percent of pills tested for fentanyl contained at least 2 mg of fentanyl, considered a potential lethal dose.
PPB's Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit (NOC) has seized nearly 570,000 fentanyl pills and just over 4,000 grams of power since June 4, 2021. One kilogram costs $1,000 to produce--and just one kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people. It is sold for about $1,300 per ounce. Pills are commonly sold for $5-$10 each.
In 2022, the Portland Police Bureau has been notified of 58 confirmed overdose deaths, with 27 of them suspected to be linked to fentanyl. According to the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), in 2021, Oregon saw 11 fentanyl-related fatal overdoses in ages 0-17 and 53 in ages 18-24.
PPB has been using its social media platform during the month of May to raise awareness regarding the dangers of buying counterfeit pills and using fentanyl.
The Bureau recently released a podcast regarding this subject. The podcast can be found here: https://www.portland.gov/police/news/2022/5/18/talking-beat-fentanyl-portland
For more information, please visit: https://www.dea.gov/resources/facts-about-fentanyl
Source: Portland Police Bureau