Fentanyl overdoses and seizures on the rise in Montana during 2022

This graph tracks opioid overdose-related responses from medical crews in Montana from January through September 2022. 

Image courtesy of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Servicies

Troopers with the Montana Highway Patrol stopped an SUV in Yellowstone County earlier this month and seized more than 600 blue pills.

The blue pills were suspected to be fentanyl, and the seizure was just a fraction of the thousands of pills recovered by law enforcement in Montana this year. Ever-increasing opioid overdoses, according to data from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human services, have coincided with those drug busts.

“I’m afraid that we’re not making much of dent at all. And that comes from conversations that I’ve had with several task forces, but specifically with high-ranking officials within the federal [Drug Enforcement Administration],” said Montana Attorney General Austin Knudson at press conference in Billings in mid-December. “One of the quotes that I got from a regional director was that this is the first time in his 30-plus-year career in the DEA that he’s seen the U.S. market completely saturated with a drug.”

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