HELENA — The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has warned health departments and medical providers to be alert for powerful fentanyl pills that have lead to an alarming number of deaths in recent weeks.
According to the DPHHS, eight Montanans died from an overdose in a less than two week span and the pills responsible are smaller than a penny.
“It’s very concerning and the patterns we are seeing with these overdoses, many were found alone and many were found with the M30 pills,” said Maureen Ward, DPHHS Injury Prevention Coordinator.
The M30 pills, according to DPHHS, likely contain Fentanyl. Fentanyl is an opioid used to treat severe pain, and is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.
The fatalities occurred in Cascade, Custer, Gallatin, Lake, Lewis and Clark, and Yellowstone counties and involved individuals aged 24 to 60 years old.
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton says almost two weeks ago there was a M30 pill overdose
Sheriff Dutton says that the pills are coming from across the world and making its way to Montana.
“They are bringing it to your door right here in Lewis and Clark County but the bigger problem is Montana and the United States,” said Sheriff Dutton.
Sheriff Dutton and the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s office are working diligently to investigate the opioid crisis in the county.
“We have a lot of intel but we can’t talk about it because it could ruin the investigation, but we are out there and we are working it,” said Sheriff Dutton.
But with the Montana Angel Initiative people struggling with drug addiction can go to the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center and get connected with treatment resources without fear of legal consequences.
The most recent deaths add to the growing number of opioid overdoses the state has seen over the last few years, which includes a 112 percent increase in fentanyl-related deaths from 2020 to 2021.