Sheriff: National opioid epidemic affects local community

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton

HELENA – Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton is sounding the alarm about the rising number of drug overdoses linked to a powerful synthetic painkiller.

Dutton said local first responders have seen 50 drug overdoses in the past six months due to heroin laced with fentanyl. He added that two recent deaths in the Tri-County area are being investigated as fentanyl-related.

Dutton said drug dealers cut their heroin with fentanyl to make it more addictive.
It also makes the drugs extremely lethal. Just one-tenth of a gram is enough to kill you.

Sheriff Dutton is asking for the local community to help deal with the national epidemic, because exposure to fentanyl is, in his words, a path to death.

“The price to pay is cardiac arrest, secondary to respiratory arrest because Fentanyl is dangerous,” said Dutton. “It may be an extreme high, but it will be your last. It will be the last of your son, or daughter, brother, sister. An intervention is needed, because we’re going to get involved, either in an investigation or in a death investigation. And if you care about the person, you’ll want to get in front of them, beside them, and help them on a path of recovery.”

Dutton says if you think some you know is using heroin laced with fentanyl, call 911 immediately to get them help.