HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii police seized hundreds of fentanyl pills in a recent drug bust. This comes as the department is investigating three suspected fentanyl-related overdoses within the last week.
“We are generally concerned for our community and the people within our community,” said Lt. Edwin Buyten, Area II Vice Section.
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Police said two milligrams of fentanyl, which amounts to a grain of Hawaii salt, can be fatal. The number of fentanyl-related overdoses continues to increase on Hawaii Island from one death in 2020 to seven in 2021.
Meanwhile, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized over 10 million fentanyl pills and nearly 1,000 pounds of fentanyl powder over the last month. Big Island police said they’re increasing enforcement with the DEA and other federal partners.
“We are narrowing the scope down to where we’re focusing more on the distribution of fentanyl to Hawaii Island,” said Lt. Buyten.
Big Island police are also seeing more rainbow fentanyl pop up. With Halloween coming up, experts are urging parents to watch out for children.
“You got to be careful and not let your children take anything that is unpackaged or unsealed or is suspicious, because it could be a poison,” said Gary Yabuta, Hawaii High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Executive Director. “It could be fentanyl, it could be a deadly narcotic.”
Hawaii’s largest drug testing lab said the issue expands beyond just Hawaii Island.
“Maybe a college friend gives you what they think is an Adderall to stay up all night to study for your test, but when these drugs don’t come through the pharmacy, they really are considered illicit drugs and they are also being laced nearly 25% of them with fentanyl,” said Dr. Lynn Welch, S&G Labs CEO and Founder.
Experts advise every household to have Narcan which is an over-the-counter drug that can reverse a fentanyl overdose.
“That person can almost come back from the dead, from a fentanyl overdose. It’s an amazing weapon that we have against this,” said Dr. Welch.
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For more information about how to get Narcan, otherwise known as Naloxone, click here.