Warren County fentanyl trafficking cases rise 420%… in one year

WCSO attributes many ODs to fentanyl poisoning

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. –  Overdose cases are on the rise across the nation, and Warren County is no exception. County Sheriff Brett Hightower says many of these deaths are a direct result of fentanyl-laced pills.

“Somebody may be handed a pill, and they even look it up on their phone and it could have some type of numerical number on there, and they could think, ‘This is safe. This may be Valium, or it could be something else.’ Unfortunately, a lot of these have a mixture and have fentanyl in them,” explained Hightower.

In 2021, the Warren County Drug Task Force reported five cases of fentanyl trafficking from January through September.

This calendar year, the DTF says they’ve already busted 26 cases of fentanyl trafficking through September 2022, one of those shipments alone containing 10,000 fentanyl-laced pills.

Hightower says fentanyl-poisoning deaths are so rampant because, “Side by side, there’s just no way that you can determine which one was actually made from a pharmaceutical company and which one was made in one of these pill presses illegally.”

Med Center Health EMS says recently, they’ve responded to so many overdoses and fentanyl poisoning cases they’ve had to train other emergency responders how to administer Narcan.

Med Center Health EMS Field Supervisor and Critical Care Paramedic Michael Lasala said, “Bowling Green City Fire, the volunteer fire departments, Bowling Green City Police, Warren County Sheriff’s Office are now able to carry Narcan and a lot of times administer Narcan prior to our arrival which is a great benefit to having them do that and for the outcome of these patients who are overdosing.”

Hightower says there’s only one surefire way to know your prescriptions are not laced with any fentanyl.

“We want to implore people not to take any pills that have not been prescribed to them from a doctor and picked up from one of our pharmacies.”