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Baton Rouge could be on track to break overdose records

4 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Thursday, December 28 2023 Dec 28, 2023 December 28, 2023 10:40 PM December 28, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Fentanyl, a drug that's dominated the headlines in recent years, is once again to blame for many overdose deaths in East Baton Rouge Parish. 

As of December 18, there have been a confirmed 275 fatal overdoses in the parish according to coroner Dr. Beau Clark. Many of those were fentanyl. 

"It's becoming more readily available in these other drugs," Clark said. "Now someone who has never abused an opioid, never abused fentanyl thinks that they're purchasing meth or cocaine or whatever it may be and all of a sudden it's laced with fentanyl."

According to District Attorney Hillar Moore, the numbers are up for fentanyl deaths about 4% from the previous year. He says it's likely East baton Rouge will end the year surpassing the 2022 numbers. 

"This year we will probably end up with 300," Moore said.

In 2022 there were 295 drug overdose related deaths, according to record from the coroner's office. Deaths in 2021 were higher with 311. Then in 2020, there were 243 fatal overdoses. 

"Pills that you take are no longer safe unless you get them from the pharmacist," Moore said. "We are finding more and more pressed pills and pill presses. It looks as good as it can look like a regular drug, and if you thing you're taking a percocet, it's cut with fentanyl."

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