MAYSVILLE, Ky. — The Maysville Police Department is warning its residents about opioids laced with fentanyl causing overdose deaths.
In a Facebook post Monday the department cautioned residents about the investigation of two overdose deaths in which the victims unknowingly consumed fentanyl.
"They were taking what they normally took as a dose in heroine and it was too much,” said Detective Ryan Hull, with the Maysville Police Department.
Hull said in the past six months, his department has investigated at least 5 overdose fatalities within the city limits and on several occasions each month police have had to administer Narcan to overdose victims.
“When we arrived on scene the male was unconscious,” said Hull. “He was not breathing, gray in color, dead as far as we were concerned. I believe it was six doses of Narcan that we gave."
In the most recent deaths, the victims were under the age of 25.
"My daughter went to school with the most recent victim,” said Hull. “These people are family to us, so it's a big impact when something happens to basically one of our family members."
Fentanyl is said to be 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin. In a 2020 report the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy said fentanyl was responsible for 71% of the state's overdose deaths.
Co-founder of NKY Hates Heroin, Holly Specht, said the rise in overdose deaths and calls doesn’t surprise her, especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The loneliness, not being able to go to meetings and maybe meet in groups like folks could before that are in recovery. It’s so important to be able to reach out and be with people who like and love you,” said Specht.
She believes family and those struggling with addiction should reach out for help and get educated on how to navigate the addiction.
"They'll help give me the tools that I can help my loved one with,” she said. “There is a lot of things that we as parents do, that we do out of love that is harmful. You absolutely positively have to be educated.
NKY hates Heroin has developed an online resource guide to help.