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Mankato officials concerned with recent spike in overdose-related deaths

FILE — This Aug. 29, 2018, file photo shows an arrangement of Oxycodone pills in New York.
FILE — This Aug. 29, 2018, file photo shows an arrangement of Oxycodone pills in New York.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The number of recent overdose deaths in the greater Mankato community has officials with the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force concerned.

The agency reported that it has been involved with four death investigations between Sept. 5 and Sept. 21 in the Mankato region that appear to be related to opioid overdoses. The ages of these victims range from 18 to 24.

In two of the deaths, agents located evidence of counterfeit prescription pills that were made from fentanyl.

A statement from the MRVDTF says that numerous other non-fatal overdose incidents have been reported to law enforcement during that same time period, and although the substance that causes the non-fatal overdoses are not often identified, DTF agents say they have reason to believe that an opioid is involved.

The agency adds that opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl, are continuing to become more prevalent in the region. Counterfeit pills made of fentanyl are not produced professionally, and the fentanyl potency of each pill can vary. In addition, all the heroin seized in the area over the last two years was found to also contain fentanyl.

“The public needs to be aware that there are no safe opioids that are not prescribed by a doctor. People need to pay attention to their loved ones and intervene if opioid abuse is suspected before they become victims of an overdose death,” task force commander Lt. Jeff Wersal wrote.

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