From NPTPD: Fentanyl Pills Found at Bus Stop in Lapwai



Friday, September 30, 2022

Recently, two Fentanyl pills were found at the bus stop area near the Pi-Nee-Waus in Lapwai, Idaho. Nez Perce Tribal Police Officers responded and collected the pills.

If pills, powders or any other unidentified substance is found, it is imperative that a person does not handle or move the substance. Please remain in the area so no one else, especially children, come into contact with the substance.  Call 911 immediately to request Tribal Police response to collect the substance.  The tiniest amount of Fentanyl can be lethal to an adult, and even smaller amounts can be a lethal dose for young children.  It is important that our youth understand the dangers of handling or ingesting any pills, or what is believed to be candy, that may be found lying around.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to Morphine, but one that is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a schedule II drug used medically to treat patients with severe pain. In its prescription form, Fentanyl is known by names such as Actiq, Duragesic and Sublimaze. When prescribed by a doctor, Fentanyl can be given as a shot, a patch that is put on a person’s skin or as lozenges that are used orally like cough drops.

The illegally used Fentanyl, often associated with recent overdoses, is made in clandestine labs. The synthetic Fentanyl is sold illegally in several forms. Most common in our area is Fentanyl made into pill form that may look like other prescription opioids.  Often it appears as a small, round blue pill with an “M” imprinted on one side and the number “30” imprinted on the other side.  It is similar in appearance to an Oxycodone Hydrochloride 30 mg prescription pill.  It can also be in powder form and put into eye droppers and nasal sprays.  Recently, pills have been seized that resemble chewable candy. These pills are manufactured in a variety of colors that resemble Skittles and Nerds. Illegal Fentanyl pills stashed in Skittle and Nerds packaging have been seized by law enforcement in other states.

In this area, officials have come across Fentanyl pills, also called Mexis, Mexican Oxy, Blues, Blueberries and Fentees.  These pills are used or ingested by heating the pills on a sheet of foil and then using a “Tooter” (a small cylindrical object like a straw or part of a ball point pen) to inhale the vapors given off from the burning pill.

The Nez Perce Tribal Police and Nez Perce Tribe Social Services Department have seen a substantial increase in children that have been exposed to Fentanyl. In most cases, this exposure to the drug is the result of children being present in the immediate area where the Fentanyl pills are being “smoked”. This is an extremely dangerous situation and puts the children in imminent danger which requires immediate removal of these children from the home.

Fentanyl has become the predominate drug in our region and has resulted in numerous overdose deaths on the Nez Perce Reservation.  The resulting “high” from the use of Fentanyl is intense and short lived, typically lasting 15 to 20 minutes.  The addiction to Fentanyl happens quickly while the tolerance to the drug develops rapidly.  Tolerance to the drug requires the user to increase pill consumption in order to achieve the same “high” from prior uses. 

The Fentanyl crisis is at epidemic levels.  Drug overdoses from Fentanyl have skyrocketed, and it is now reported to be the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18-45 years of age.  In 2021, drug overdose deaths in the United States topped 100,000 for the first time ever in a one-year period.  Shockingly, the 2022 Fentanyl overdose death rates are already surpassing those for 2021. 

Last year, over 11,201 pounds of Fentanyl were seized by Customs and Border Protection Agencies. This amount is enough to kill every American nearly seven times over.  The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has provided laboratory testing statistics that reveal that four out of ten DEA-tested Fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills contain at least two milligrams of Fentanyl—an amount that is considered to be a lethal dose.  The DEA has since issued a Public Safety Alert, warning the public of the dangers of Fentanyl. 

If you notice any suspicious activity or situation, or have information on a potential clandestine lab, please call 911 immediately and report it. Your name and information will be kept confidential. It is up to us all to be informed, educate others and combat this epidemic together.

(Click here for images)

Daniel Taylor, Lieutenant

Nez Perce Tribe Police Department

Criminal Investigation Division