More fatal fentanyl overdoses reported in Montana

Billings Gazette

Eight people died of fentanyl overdoses in Montana between May 22 and June 1.

The overdose deaths were reported in Lewis and Clark, Yellowstone, Custer, Cascade, Gallatin and Lake counties, according to RiverStone Health in Billings.

The eight people were between ages 24 and 60, the county’s public health agency said Monday in a press release.

Blue M30 pills (likely manufactured fentanyl pressed into counterfeit pills) were located nearby several of the overdose victims, said the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Such blue pills containing fentanyl have been used illicitly for smoking, injection and swallowing. Fentanyl often has been mixed with other illicit drugs, including meth, so users don’t know what drugs they are getting or how potent the dose is.

Fentanyl is an opioid pain drug that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is medically approved for managing severe and chronic pain. But most cases of fentanyl deaths have been linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl.

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