Missoula officials are investigating a number of opioid overdoses in the Missoula area.
Police announced in a news release Tuesday that they recently seized a number of pills that have been connected to overdoses. Spokeswoman Lydia Arnold was not able to provide more information on the amount seized or the number of active overdose cases police are investigating.
The pills found by officials have been confirmed by the Montana State Crime Lab to contain fentanyl and acetaminophen. The stamp on the pills is similar to legitimate oxycodone hydrochloride medications, the release said. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can easily lead to overdoses.
To date, an 18-year-old has died in connection with a drug overdose in Missoula, the release said. Arnold was unable to comment on exactly when the 18-year-old died, but said it was recent.
Missoula police have been seeing an increase in overdose cases, Arnold said. The department wants to remind the public of what a dangerous substance fentanyl is.
Opioids are the main driver of drug overdose deaths in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nearly 73% of opioid-involved overdose deaths involve synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.