Casper feels increased presence of fentanyl impacting Wyoming

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:41 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -Data from the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation and Department of Health shows that fentanyl has increased in prevalence across Wyoming. In 2019, Wyoming had 17 reported synthetic opioid overdose deaths among residents. That number jumped to 42 in 2021, and according to the WDH, there have been 17 deaths recorded in the first few months of 2022.

“It’s going to take a coordinated approach to tackle this issue. I am asking residents to educate themselves and understand how lethal and pervasive this drug is,” said Governor Gordon in a statement.

Wyoming Recovery, an addiction treatment center in Casper, has seen more people using its services to recover from fentanyl. The center can help up to 15 people through an inpatient program. Currently, there are 13 patients using the service, seven of them are overcoming fentanyl addictions.

Governor Gordon is working with local law enforcement and his cabinet to develop plans to fight the drug. According to the center, raising awareness about synthetic opioids and their presence may help to reduce cases.

“Any type of awareness of a problem is huge because once there is an awareness then people start to research they start to investigate they start to find out what’s happening... the problem is if people want it they’re going to find it,” said Wyoming Recovery Clinical Director Kristi Hann.

Law enforcement agencies and medical service providers around the state use naloxone to reverse opioid overdose. The WDH has applied for the federal State Opioid Response Grant to receive aid in fighting the opioid crisis in Wyoming, this would include resources for naloxone distribution.

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