WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Over the past few years, fentanyl overdoses and fatalities have been skyrocketing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, roughly 50,000 reports were made of overdoses. Seven years later, those numbers are sitting at around 100,000 reports.
“We’re now way over a hundred-thousand deaths in the nation from that,” Dr. Tom Talbert with Texas Treatment Services said. “Just a few years ago, it was at 40,000.”
For the past four years, Dr. Talbert has been working in the medication treatment field, and said he noticed more and more patients coming in to be treated for fentanyl.
“And we’re seeing them younger and younger, and not typically in their twenties that are in a situation that they are at an extreme risk as it relates to the potential adverse effects such as death,” Talbert said.
“A 19-year-old Wichita Falls teen is under arrest for murder, suspected of selling counterfeit pills that were actually laced with fentanyl,” our own KFDX Anchor Darrell Franklin reported when that story broke in late August.
The overdoses and arrests seem to be becoming a common trend here in Wichita Falls.
Since then, there have been two others arrested for fentanyl-related murder charges.
The arrests are something that Sergeant Charlie Eipper with the Wichita Falls Police Department is expecting to continue increasing.
“People are still having overdoses,” Sgt. Eipper said. “I wouldn’t doubt it at all that we’ll end up making more arrests for homicide-type cases that are selling these counterfeit pills.”
Dr. Talbert said there are ways to combat the growing number of overdoses and deaths.
“What we need to be supporting is multiple different avenues to address this problem, and that goes from treatment interventions to rescue treatments, such as the use of Narcan,” Talbert said.
Narcan is something that more and more cities throughout the nation are making more readily available to users in hopes that this epidemic begins to fade.
Down at Wichita Falls Sober Living on 7th Street, Narcan training was held Thursday, September 15, at 5:30 p.m., so community members in attendance could receive free Narcan as well as proper training on how to use it.