Montgomery County authorities hope to raise awareness following large fentanyl bust

21 pounds of fentanyl, some cocaine and heroin were seized as well as $120,000 in cash, a gun and a car. (WKEF/WRGT)

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - "This isn't just another press conference about a huge drug bust," Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said right off the bat Thursday afternoon.

As Sheriff Plummer stood in front of a table full of drugs seized by the bulk smuggling task force, he said the county wants to spread awareness about the sersiousness of the epidemic that's gripping the community.

In the most recent bust, Sheriff Plummer says 21 kilgrams of fentanyl, some cocaine and heroin were seized as well as $120,000 in cash, a gun and a car. Plummer says this latest bust has direct ties to the Mexican drug cartel. "The Mexican drug cartel is bringing this poison to our community," Plummer said,"they're killing our citizens daily." The number of deaths are set to hit record highs this year, if they continue on the current pace, according to Dr. Kent Harshbarger from the Montgomery County Coroner's Office. Hashbarger said more than half of the drug overdoses his offices has seen this year are due to fentanyl or carfentanil, products that are so strong, Harshbarger says "that next dose may be your last." So far this year in Montgomery County there have been between 182 and 208 deadly overdoses. If this continue on the same pace, the county could suffer between 750 and 800 overdose deaths this year.

The county is now working on outreach to family and friends of addicts. Emily Surico, from East End Community Services spoke briefly about its GROW initiative. Surico says the program, which stands for Getting Recovery Options Working, offers help to families of people who have overdosed. Surico says workers with the program don't judge family members, they just want to offer hope and help. Another initiative Conversation for Change, is a way to get the conversation about addiction started. Surico says they offer education about what addiction is,"seeing it as a disease, this is not a moral failure, we want to get that message out there."

Sheriff Plummer says officers are using an "unGoldly" amount of Narcan on people who have overdosed. Plummer said recently a person in jail had to receive 16 doses of Narcan. He says the county has a grant that funds the use of Narcan, but says at the rate things are going now, it won't be enough to last through the year.

WATCH the entire press conference ||

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