LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Deaths from fentanyl overdoses have doubled every year in Acadiana since 2018, according to statistics from the Lafayette Parish Coroner.
In 2018, 13 people died from fentanyl overdoses.
It then grew to 25 people in 2019.
Last year, that number doubled to 50.
So far in 2021, there have been 37 deaths in Lafayette Parish from fentanyl overdoses.
Local activist groups say it’s because fentanyl is now found in nearly every drug on the streets.
“Right now, fentanyl is in the Lafayette area, there’s no doubt about it. It’s not a rumour. It’s proven. People are dying from fentanyl almost every day now,” said Kady Douglas, founder of Acadiana Harm Reduction.
Douglas says what makes fentanyl so dangerous is that it only takes about four grains of sand to kill fentanyl.
“A lot of people didn’t heed the warnings about fentanyl at first because they thought it was just a heroin problem. is hitting everybody right now. It’s in all kinds of drugs,” Douglas added.
She says the amount of fentanyl circulating in Lafayette and the number of drugs it is found in is growing rapidly.
“Right now it’s in Xanax bars, fake Xanax bars, it’s in heroin, it’s in cocaine, it’s in marijuana that we found,” he said. she declared.
“Usually it’s been found in heroin. More recently, in younger people, they’ve taken drugs to party, go to prom. They take a pill that they think is from the pharmacy and actually it’s a pressed pill and it contains fentanyl,” said Christy Couvillier, board member of Acadiana Harm Reduction.
Couvillier says she knows this firsthand.
Her own son had to be put on life support after taking a pill containing fentanyl, but she says the drug has the potential to affect anyone in Acadiana right now. She says people need to be aware.
“You have the mom taking a pill from someone she thinks is for her nerves, and it’s got fentanyl in it. People will take a pill thinking it’s for back pain or whatever, and that it contains fentanyl. It affects literally everyone in Acadiana, not just the deeply addicted,” Couvillier told News Ten.
Acadiana Harm Reduction is offering free fentanyl test strips and free Narcan to anyone in need.