heroin

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota authorities have taken 500-thousand dollars’ worth of a dangerous drug off the street. Tuesday Chamberlain Police and the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation executed a search warrant. They found 20,000 fentanyl pills.

Fentanyl has real medical uses. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that doctors prescribe the synthetic opioid to ease pain after surgery or alleviate chronic pain. People addicted to drugs may use fentanyl that’s manufactured for medicine.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A drug that reverses opioid overdose is available in South Dakota without a prescription. The option is a response to national trends in painkiller abuse. Pharmacists at Walgreens can dispense the drug. Starting February 1st, Avera and Hy-Vee pharmacies also offer the medication to keep in case of emergency.

A medicine called naloxone reverses the toxic effects of taking too many painkillers. It’s the generic drug for the brand-name Narcan.

Dr. Matthew Stanley with Avera Health says using the nasal spray is the first step in saving someone who overdoses on opioids.

Rapid City Police Department

September 18 marks the start of National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week.
 
Data from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention shows South Dakota has been largely unaffected by the opioid epidemic.

But since the start of 2016 law enforcement officials report at least ten South Dakotan deaths from opioid overdoses.

Rapid City Police Department

So far, the data shows South Dakota has largely been immune to the opioid drug abuse epidemic affecting other areas of the country.  In 2014, only one death resulted from a heroin overdose in the state.

Now, law enforcement officials in Rapid City and Sioux Falls are reporting an increase in heroin and other opioid drug use.  Since the start of 2016, at least ten South Dakotans have died from opioid overdoses.

SD Attorney General Calls For Drug Awareness Campaign

Apr 19, 2016

A South Dakota resident has died of a heroin overdose. Attorney General Marty Jackley is rolling out a meth and heroin public awareness campaign this summer. Jackley says now is the time to focus on the issue, before more problems occur.

 

Tony Harrison is the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police national trustee. He’s also in charge of narcotics investigations with the Pennington County Sheriff's Department. Tony Harrison  joins Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to talk about the FRONTLINE special “Chasing Heroin” on SDPB-TV, and whether or not heroin is a challenge for South Dakota law enforcement officers.

Tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. CT, SDPB-TV airs the premiere of the new FRONTLINE documentary “Chasing Heroin.” 

This intense documentary explores how America is experimenting with radical new approaches to the drug problem in the face of a heroin epidemic.  Following four addicts in Seattle, the film probes U.S. drug policy and investigates what happens when addiction is treated like a public health crisis, not a crime. 

Heroin Overdoses: Hype Or Actual Pending SD Epidemic?

Dec 17, 2015
Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control describe heroin related deaths as an epidemic in the United States, and some officials have raised concerns South Dakota is about to see a spike in heroin and prescription opioid overdoses.

But, data from the State Department of Health shows that over the last decade heroin overdoses are almost non-existent in South Dakota.   

 And while prescription drug abuse is a concern the numbers of opioid overdose deaths are smaller than other drugs like meth or alcohol.