KCKPD says fentanyl overdoses are up this year, including among minors

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 3:24 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KCTV) - The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department says they’ve seen the number of fentanyl overdoses increase a lot from last year.

At this point in 2022, there have been 129 overdoses in KCK. That includes both minors and adults. There were 110 overdoses and 17 deaths last year, according to Captain John Diaz.

Now, that number of overdoses is not specific to fentanyl. However, the KCKPD says they see very few overdoses from other drugs.

“The youngest overdose we’ve had so far this year is 14,” Captain Diaz said.

“It’s obviously very heartbreaking,” Diaz said, speaking of the officers who have to go to such scenes. “They have to respond and then the parents, trying to console them, and then trying to go after the the dealers that sold those pills to the juveniles.”

“We’re seizing fentanyl weekly from drug dealers,” Diaz said. “That’s what our main focus is, just getting the people that put the pills on the street.”

Also read: ‘This is serious business’: KCK police find nearly 6k fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills

Diaz added that sheer prevalence is the main issue, so it’s hard to get them all but they are trying their best.

From the KCKPD: Overdose 2022 YTD

DiedSurvivedDied % Diff of TotalTotal

KCTV5 has done extensive coverage regarding the impact fentanyl is having on the Kansas City metro area.

So, you may see the tragic headlines but what should you be telling your children?

“Don’t take a pill,” Captain Diaz said. “It’s not yours. It’s very, very simple. ‘One pill can kill.’ That’s the DEA’s standard. Four out of every 10 pills that we’ve tested with the DEA is fentanyl.”

Given the odds, it is simply too risky. That’s especially true when it’s your life at risk of being lost.

“Yeah, you may get the six that are okay,” Diaz continued, “but what happens if the first one is the four of the 10 that are bad?”

Diaz continued with his advice regarding what parents can say: “If it’s not your prescription, it’s not your pill. Don’t take it.”

“When we’re talking even anything at all,” Diaz continued, “if it doesn’t come from your hands, from the doctor, it’s not yours to take.”

He also addressed how there is no quality control over the illegal, fentanyl-laced pills.

“So, the pills aren’t made at an FDA lab,” Diaz noted. “So, you don’t know who’s making the pills, who’s pressing the pills. That can be local, could not be. So, standards aren’t there that we’re used to when we go get pills, prescriptions from the pharmacy.”

That seems like common sense, but it has major implications.

One analogy is baking chocolate chip cookies at home. One cookie could have very few chips and one can have tons. Then, when you split one, you don’t have an even number of chips. “The problem, in this instance, is only a little microscopic amount of chocolate chip could mean the difference between life or death,” said Sergeant Jake Becchina, bringing the analogy to its conclusion.

If you have information regarding the sale of fentanyl, or any other illegal drugs, you can call the KCKPD’s Narcotics Hotline at 913-573-6287. That hotline is operational 24 hours a day.

More on KCTV5.com:

KC police: 4 people, including toddler, die from fentanyl in 13-day span

Yet another Oak Grove mother speaks about her son’s fentanyl overdose

Johnson County high school soccer teams to honor classmate killed by fentanyl

More stories from KCTV5 News regarding fentanyl