BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Fentanyl has been an ongoing issue nationwide and has hit home here in North Dakota more and more.
On Tuesday, Bismarck police got a call saying a driver crashed her car into a house, and that fentanyl was involved.
“So what the officers were told when they arrived on scene is that the driver of the vehicle informed the investigating officer that she had been smoking fentanyl up at Tom O’Leary Golf course going southbound on Griffin Street and stopped for a red light at Avenue C and I’m assuming she didn’t say that specifically, but that was the last thing she remembered, and then the car continued south and rolled off the road into a fence and then into the house that was struck, “ Bismarck Police Lieutenant Jeff Solemsaas says.
Lieutenant Solemsaas says the driver is not in custody at this time.
“What happens is they do chemical tests basically in urine to test for drugs in her system and that gets sent to the state lab. When the state lab has those results, they send them back to the officer and at that point, she can be formally issued a citation for driving under the influence,” said Solemsaas.
Fentanyl is a Schedule 2 controlled substance that is similar to morphine, but about 100 times more potent.
Because of its potency and low cost, drug dealers have been mixing fentanyl with other drugs including heroin, meth, and cocaine, increasing the likelihood of a fatal interaction.
“As a department and as an agency, statewide we are seeing a substantial increase in the amount of fentanyl arrests and the amount of possessions,” Solemsaas says.
Being that fentanyl is such a potent substance, the effects can be very dangerous. In this driver’s case, this is seen firsthand.
“Witnesses that called say that she was passed out asleep and they couldn’t wake her up so that’s when the ambulance responded and she was transported to the hospital, “ Solemsaas tells us.
The DEA reported this year that drug trafficking organizations typically distribute fentanyl by the kilogram.
One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people.
Last year, Bismarck police seized nearly 10,000 pills containing either fentanyl or oxycodone.