BATON ROUGE, La. - It’s become one of the top killers across the country and right here at home.
Fentanyl is sweeping the streets like never before, and it’s taking out people of all ages and demographics.
“The drugs I was using back in the day are not the same,” said Tonja Myles.
Chief Murphy Paul, at a press conference this morning, talked about the drug issue in Baton Rouge and how fentanyl is impacting the city.
Paul says the number of overdoses is slightly dropping, but there’s apparently a rise in fentanyl-laced drugs.
He says they see it in everything from opioids to heroin and possibly marijuana.
“It just shows you the carelessness of those involved in drug distribution,” Chief Paul said.
Tonja Myles is in recovery and has been a steady advocate against the war on drugs.
She says it’s hard to say if marijuana is being laced because many of the city’s cases involve poly users meaning someone used more than one drug at the time of an overdose.
Myles says that makes it hard to track, but that’s not stopping her and other advocates from warning people about the dangers that could happen when using drugs.
“It is a weapon of mass destruction. It’s killing more people in our community than mass shootings and violent crimes, and we must address it like never before,” Myles stated.
Leaders say it’s also hitting our young people more than ever before, making the urgency to get a grip on this problem even greater.
State lawmakers recently passed a bill that would stiffen the penalties for anyone caught selling fentanyl, but Myles says more has to be done.
“As long as there’s addiction, we will never get comfortable. As long as it’s a stigma around mental health and substance abuse, we will never get comfortable,” said Myles.