Fargo Police investigates increase in fentanyl overdoses
"Our overdoses have tripled from 2019 to 2020."
FARGO, N.D. — The Fargo Police Department is hoping to crack down on the increase in fentanyl overdose cases throughout the metro.
After a rise in overdose cases containing fentanyl, the Fargo Police Department says they are investigating narcotic distributions within the area.
“These traffickers and dealers make the best out of what they have to provide illegal narcotics to some of our community members who are addicted and many of them are dying,” Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski said.
The department says they began noticing the occurrence of the synthetic opioid in the area within the past year.
“Early summer last year is when we saw the M30 pills, the little blue pills that we eventually found out were containing fentanyl often that were leading to some of those overdoses,” Fargo Police Sgt. Matt Christensen said.
Chief Zibolski says those overdose numbers are alarming.
“Our overdoses have tripled from 2019 to 2020… our overdoses tripled. We ended up with 91 overdoses for the year, 73 non fatal and 18 fatal,” Chief Zibolski said.
As the department investigates, Sgt. Christensen says they are trying to find the source of distribution.
“We’ve seized almost 1600 pills related to just a couple investigations that were found that contained fentanyl and had led to several overdoses. We do have leads on several other individuals that appear to be selling those in our area,” Sgt. Christensen said.
Sgt. Christensen says the main goal of the Fargo Police department is to help members in our community dealing with addiction.
“Our mission as a narcotics unit is to try to identify the people that are supplying those drugs that lead to overdoses, basically taking advantage of people that are suffering from addiction and holding those people accountable. Our goal isn’t necessarily to go after the street level user and throw them in prison, our goal is to find the people that typically aren’t even from our community that come here to make money off of those people,” Sgt. Matt Christensen said.
Chief Zibolski says Fargo Police is working with harm reduction advocates to provide future treatment opportunities for people looking to address their addiction.