Just last week we learned that 2020 had the most opioid related deaths ever in Duluth. Tragically 20 people lost their lives in Duluth to opioid overdoses last year. It's heartbreaking to see it completely ruin lives and families. Recently Rochester police had a large drug bust where they found about 6,000 painkillers believed to be laced with fentanyl.

The pills were recovered Monday night, and police had issued a warning that the pills could be connected to overdose deaths in Rochester. There also were overdose deaths recently in Roseville, Minnesota according to KTTC TV. Similarly laced pills could be making their way into other communities in the region.

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The recent arrest occurred after officers noticed a car speeding. During the traffic stop they smelled marijuana and searched the vehicle, eventually finding the pills. Two people are under arrest. Each pill has a street value of somewhere between $15-$30. That would put the value of this stash at roughly $90,000-180,000.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is used for pain. It is similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent. Just a tiny amount can be enough to cause an overdose death. The CDC says that synthetic opioids including fentanyl caused over 30,000 deaths in 2018. The problem appears to get worse.

Often times illegal drugs are mixed with fentanyl to enhance the euphoric effects of the drug. However, this makes it very deadly. There is absolutely no way to know the potency of these black market drugs.

If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, the Duluth Police Department has non judgmental, safe support staff that can help you.

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