Sheriff's Office

PR #:
Date Issued:
Jan 06, 2022 - 1:31PM

For Immediate Release

Regional Narcotics Unit, local law enforcement agencies see increase in fentanyl deaths
Please note: this is a regional press release

Sarah Johns
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

The Truckee Meadows has recently experienced an increase in fentanyl related overdoses and overdose deaths of people believing they were using cocaine and/or methamphetamine according to Regional Narcotics Unit (RNU) detectives.

RNU detectives, in partnership with all local law enforcement agencies, are diligently working on reducing this public safety threat by investigating these recent deaths, and by targeting individuals responsible for the distribution of fentanyl laced narcotics.

Official data on those unknowingly being exposed to lethal doses of fentanyl are not yet available. According to the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, between January – September 2021 there were 201 drug-related deaths in Washoe County. Of those, 54 were fentanyl related. All data is still preliminary.

Regional law enforcement officers caution citizens about street drugs.  Prior warnings have advised citizens about the dangers of possibly purchasing and using counterfeit prescription medication.  Local law enforcement is now finding cocaine and methamphetamine laced with fentanyl as well as an increase in powdered fentanyl being sold on the street.

Anyone who uses drugs, or has a loved one who is dealing with addiction, should keep naloxone medication on hand. Naloxone can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose and is available without a prescription at most drug stores in Nevada.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.


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