Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton is sounding the alarm about a rise in drug overdoses linked to a powerful synthetic painkiller.
According to Dutton, local first responders have seen 50 drug overdoses in the past six months due to heroin laced with fentanyl.
He said two recent deaths in the Tri-County area are being investigated as fentanyl-related.
He added drug dealers cut heroin with fentanyl to make it more addictive.
The drugs also become extremely lethal as just one-tenth of a gram is enough to kill a person.
Sheriff Dutton is asking for the public to help with the situation because exposure to fentanyl is, in his words, a path to death.
“The price to pay is cardiac arrest, secondary to respiratory arrest because Fentanyl is dangerous,” Dutton said.
Although the drug may create an extreme high, it also could be the last, Dutton stated.
"An intervention is needed because we're going to get involved either in an investigation or in a death investigation," Dutton said. "And if you care about the person, you'll want to get in front of them, beside them, and help them on a path of recovery."
If you think someone you know is using heroin laced with fentanyl, call 911 immediately for help.