OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Officials in Oklahoma City say they have seen a dramatic increase in the number of fentanyl-related overdose deaths.

From 2017 to 2021, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics reported a 450% increase of fentanyl deaths across Oklahoma.

From Jan. 19 through Dec. 13, Oklahoma City police say they have worked a suspected 101 fentanyl-related deaths.

“Fentanyl is often mixed/cut with other recreational drugs and victims don’t know they are ingesting a dangerous dose,” the Oklahoma City Police Department posted on Facebook.

Fentanyl dates back to the late 1950s.

The Oklahoma National Guard reports it was originally and is still used as an anesthetic, and though it is a pharmaceutical medication prescribed for specific instances, the drug is being illegally produced and sold on the black market.  

“Fentanyl in its regular state is 100 times more potent than morphine and it is 50 times more potent than heroin. And just as an example, four small little granules of, let’s say, like salt granules, is the lethal dose,” said Maj. Aaron Dougherty, Deputy Commander, 63rd CST.