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Pima County projects over 100 fentanyl deaths in 2020

Posted at 10:34 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 01:34:21-04

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. — Health officials say numbers show fentanyl deaths are on the rise in Pima County.

Last year there were 89 fentanyl related deaths for the whole year -- in the first six months this year that number stands at 78.

The Pima County Health Department predicts the county will surpass last year's total and may go well over 100 deaths.

The program manager at the health department tells KGUN9 some people may not always know they're taking fentanyl.

PCHD program manager Mark Person said "I haven't seen it mixed with other drugs, physically, but people who take it at the same time. But a lot of people take it unknowingly thinking that it's, you know, an ativan, or they may think it's methamphetamine."

A big worry for the department is middle and high schoolers, but they're working on virtual sessions teaching local students about the dangers of fentanyl.

They tell us it's not just young people succumbing to the drug -- it's happening to all age groups.