State Asking For Help In Dealing With Influx Of Fentanyl

Des Moines, Iowa — The state is ramping up public awareness efforts in response to an influx of fake prescription drugs laced with fentanyl that have shown up in the state. Public Safety Commissioner, Steven Bayens says the pills are produced mainly in Mexico.

Bayens says the procedures for mixing what goes into the pills is not as sophisticated as the production process — and that leads to pills that are deadly.

Bayens says the amount of fentanyl that is lethal can fit on the lead of a pencil. Too much fentanyl creates what is called a ‘hot batch.” He says you can help by reporting the discovery of the fake pills.

He says the pills are dangerous to handle, and you should not try to dispose of them yourself. Bayens says it’s also important for the lab to review the pills to try and determine their makeup. Anyone that finds a counterfeit pill is encouraged to call the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement anonymous tip hotline at (800) 532-0052 or and in the case of an emergency, call 911. Bayens says the most common pills are designed to look like the powerful painkiller oxycontin.

Governor Kim Reynolds says the state is planning to target young people to try and educate them more on the issue.

The focus on fentanyl comes after overdose deaths in Cass and Shelby counties uncovered a fentanyl distribution ring in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska. For 24-hour confidential support and for more information on fentanyl and counterfeit pills, or for resources on opioid or other substance use disorders, visit