As year comes to a close, Oklahoma fentanyl cases and overdoses continue to rise

TULSA, Okla. — Fentanyl can hurt the strongest people.

Mark Woodward with Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says the drug is killing people faster than ever before.

“There needs to be more education because we have been preaching this message for 6-7 years,” Woodward said. “Fentanyl is not a new trend, it is continuing to increase in overdoses.”

And the numbers don’t lie. In 2021, there were 299, fentanyl overdose deaths in Oklahoma.

Drew Laboon, who struggled with addiction in the past, runs a recovery center and says the people who are using fentanyl are just everyday people.

“It feels really, really good,” Laboon said. “The problem is the rest of your life with that one hit and how it absolutely destroyed my life if I live long enough to do so.”

Narcotics agents and first responders have said that that Naloxone sold under the brand names NARCAN, has been successful in saving lives but some fentanyl pills can be mixed with unknown substances that NARCAN itself doesn’t have much of an impact.