KENOSHA ⏤ The Kenosha County Opioid Task Force is warning residents of the presence of fentanyl in “many illegal drugs and counterfeit prescriptions” locally.

In a release Tuesday, the task force stated that a small amount is appearing in a wide variety of drugs. In fact, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department Drug Operations Group told the task force that “all types of counterfeit pills have tested positive” for fentanyl. 

Marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines tested locally have also had the presence of fentanyl. 

The powerful opioid can cause a deadly overdose. 


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User unaware of how powerful drug is with fentanyl

This poses a particular danger as the user is unaware of how powerful the drug they are using truly is. 

It’s important to know that, from what we’re seeing in the community, fentanyl is everywhere — in all types of street drugs and illegally-obtained prescriptions,” said Kari Foss, chairperson of the Kenosha County Opioid Task Force. 

This creates an extremely dangerous situation for users who don’t know what they’re getting.”

Fentanyl prominent in local overdose deaths

Fentanyl factors prominently into the drug-related deaths locally so far this year, said Kenosha County Medical Examiner Patrice Hall. 

In fact, as of Oct. 1, 2021, out of 25 confirmed toxicity deaths, 19 — or 76% — involved fentanyl and/or a fentanyl analog, Hall said.

Doctors typically prescribe fentanyl ⏤ a synthetic opioid ⏤ to treat patients with chronic severe pain or severe pain after a surgery. A Schedule II controlled substance, it is similar to morphine. However, it is about 100 times more potent. 

A deadly dose is also small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil.


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Warning against counterfeit pills

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also issued a public safety alert late in September. That alert warned of an alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Criminal drug networks illegally manufacture counterfeit pills. They also make them to look like real prescription opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and alprazolam (Xanax), as well as stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall).

There is Help

“For those who are using, we want people to know that help is available and recovery is possible,” Hall said.

Vivent Health offers fentanyl test strips, so that users can determine the presence of fentanyl in other substances. For more information, call 262-657-6644.

Kenosha County Public Health also offers free training and supplies of Narcan, a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/KCNarcan or call 262-605-6741.

The Kenosha County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resource Center may be reached from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 262-764-8555

The Kenosha County Crisis Hotline operated is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, at 262-657-7188. Kenosha Human Development Services operates the hotline.



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