Ravalli County officials report increase in fentanyl-related overdoses

Ravalli Republic

The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office and Ravalli County Public Health have issued advisories warning the public of an increase in fentanyl related overdoses.

At least 28-non fatal overdoses and eight fatal overdoses suspected to be due to non-pharmaceutical fentanyl use were reported between Jan. 11-21, according to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services. The overdoses occurred in Cascade, Choteau, Custer, Flathead, Gallatin, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Ravalli, Sheridan, Silver Bow, and Yellowstone counties.

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Fentanyl, a synthetic and short-acting opioid analgesic, is 50-100 times more potent than morphine and approved for managing acute or chronic pain associated with advanced cancer. Although pharmaceutical fentanyl can be diverted for misuse, most cases of fentanyl-related overdoses have been linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, collectively referred to as non-pharmaceutical fentanyl (NFP). NPF is sold via criminal drug markets for its heroin-like effect and often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine as a combination product – with or without the user’s knowledge – to increase its euphoric effects. While NPF-related overdoses can be reversed with naloxone, a

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