Alarming Spike In Fentanyl-Related Overdose Deaths Leads Fort Worth Police To Issue Public Warning

The Fort Worth Police Department has issued a public safety warning in response to seeing a substantial increase in illicit fentanyl distribution, possession and overdoses from the drug.

Video Transcript

- A new warning from police today after the deaths of two North Texas teenagers. Fort Worth PD say they are finding more and more dangerous pills on the street. Brooke Katz is here with the details.

- Yeah, and Ken, this is a scary situation because police say people think they are taking prescription oxycodone or Percocet, when it's actually something else. Fort Worth Police say these are the most common type of pills in our area. You see here, they are light blue or green, have an M on one side and the number 30 on the other. The pills, though, are laced with fentanyl-- a synthetic opioid similar to morphine, but 100 times stronger. A two milligram dose you see here, next to the penny-- that is enough to kill most people. Here in North Texas, those deaths are up. In 2019, there were five in Denton, nine in Tarrant, and 10 in Collin County. But last year, those numbers tripled in Collin County, quadrupled in Denton, and went up tenfold to 95 in Tarrant County. Now we're still working to get the numbers from Dallas County. Two of the most recent suspected deaths, though, happened over spring break. Two 16-year-old boys in Venus. A third boy was hospitalized, but survived. The DEA says this is a new kind of epidemic that affects all of us.

- As a parent, and as a concerned citizen, I-- you know, you have to pay attention. You have to make sure you know what's showing up at your doorstep. You know, you have to have these discussions with your children. All of us here in North Texas have to throw out the stereotype of what somebody who is addicted to drugs looks like. It is the person who is in line with you at the grocery store. It's, perhaps, one of your family members. It is not the outliers.

BROOKE KATZ: And DEA agents have been meeting with North Texas school districts, hospitals, and other police agencies to help spread the word about this threat. But, Ken, really something all parents need to be on the lookout for.

- Yeah. Something that everyone needs to be aware of, as well, as you said, Brooke. Because so many times, they don't know just how little amount it takes to kill someone. Thank you for that information.