(WEHT)- For almost the past two years, there’s been plenty of discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic, but across the Tri-State, an opioid epidemic has continued to grow. Now, experts and law enforcement say more action is needed to combat the surge in overdoses and deaths, following an Evansville toddler’s death after exposure to Fentanyl.
Substance abuse counselor Lisa Seif calls Fentanyl “the pill that kills,” adding that its strength can kill anyone in a single dose. Rather than slogans like “Just Say No” or “the Thrill can Kill,” she encourages people to have open, honest conversations with their families about drug and opioid abuse.
Investigators say more than 5,000 pills of the powerful opioid were found in a house on E. Sycamore Street where Kamari Opperman, 3, was staying. Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nick Hermann says the county is set to break a record for overdose deaths.
Kentucky State Police trooper Corey King says they’re seeing drugs, including Fentanyl, being brought into hubs on both sides on the Ohio River, including Evansville and Owensboro. From there, trooper King says the drugs are being filtered into other communities including Calhoun and Hartford.
Seif says that with counterfeit Fentanyl pills on the market now and the pandemic continuing, the problem has grown significantly since 2019. She says drug abuse issues are now being seen in all communities and among all incomes. Seif says she’s worried society isn’t ready to embrace that reality.