Clay County Sheriff’s Office reports recent investigations recovered acrylfentanyl in powder form

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:13 PM CDT
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CLAY COUNTY, Mo. (KCTV) - After previously warning parents, teens and community members about deadly fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office has a new warning Thursday. Investigators say they are now seeing acrylfentanyl in powder form in Clay County.

According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, investigators have not yet encountered the rainbow-colored fentanyl pills the DEA has issued warnings about. Instead, they’ve recently seized acrylfentanyl in powder form in Clay County. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office shared a photo to show community members what acrylfentanyl can look like. Investigators describe it as a chemical analogue of fentanyl.

“We’ve been working since December of last year to educate the community about the dangers of fentanyl because of the increasing deaths and overdoses that we’re seeing,” Clay County Sheriff’s Office Public Relations Manager Sarah Boyd said.

Law enforcement officers around the country have shared the message that one pill can kill. “There are deadly consequences,” Boyd said. “You can’t just try a pill at a friend’s house. You could die.”

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office wants community members to also be aware of the dangers of acrylfentanyl in powder form. “It has the possibility to be mixed with any number of drugs,” Boyd said. “We’re concerned that people who are casual drug users, who don’t think they’re using fentanyl, will end up using fentanyl and overdose.”

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, acrylfentanyl is 50-100 times more powerful than morphine. “We’ve seen fentanyl cut into marijuana. We’ve seen it cut into heroin. We’ve seen it cut into meth,” Boyd said. “It makes that drug so much more dangerous.”

In 2021 in Clay County, officers investigated more than a dozen overdose cases involving fentanyl-laced pills and nine deaths. “We are really concerned this is the most death we’ve seen associated with a drug in decades,” Boyd said. “The potential for overdose is so high.”

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office has held several Community Drug Education Summits to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl.