Mexican drug cartels targeting Montana with fentanyl trade; overdose deaths rising: Law enforcement
June 23, 2022 at 01:35
In Montana, state law enforcement officials say drug cartels are specifically targeting more rural areas.
Montana Highway Patrol troopers have already seized three times as many fentanyl pills on the streets this year compared to 2021.
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"Since 2020, our crime lab confirmed fentanyl deaths increased 1,100%," Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said.
Knudsen says Mexican drug cartels crossing the southern border are targeting Montana.
Dr. Robert Sherrick is the chief medical officer for Community Medical Services, which operates 50 opioid treatment centers nationwide, including four in Montana.
"I would say somewhere around 70% of our patients who come in with an opioid-use disorder … are testing positive for fentanyl," Sherrick said.
He said addicts need to get into opioid treatment programs to receive medicine to help wean them off drugs.
He contends patients are not trading one addiction for another when they take medicine that treats opioid addiction.
Sherrick says fentanyl is so addictive it has a lower rate of successful rehab compared to other opioids.
Now that she has recovered, she serves as an advocate for addiction treatment in her community.
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services offers resources to get help for addiction treatment.