Fentanyl plagues Rapid City, other West River communities

Forget the "big city" argument; fentanyl is just as much a problem in Rapid City as a major metropolitan area.
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 6:13 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Fentanyl use across the country is an epidemic, and it’s not just a big city problem, as law enforcement in Pennington County has seen a drastic increase in the amount of the deadly drug they’ve taken off the streets.

in 2020, the United Narcotics Enforcement Team seized 128 grams of fentanyl, and this year the unit projects to collect 10 times that amount.

The impact of fentanyl abuse can extend far beyond individual users. On Monday, a woman on fentanyl passed out while driving her car, causing a crash and putting innocent people in danger.

“Sometimes in our society, it takes something major like this for some attention to be shown to these things that are an everyday problem for us in law enforcement, as we are dealing with them on a daily basis. So, the public doesn’t see all of that, all of the work that goes into this, until something thankfully not horrific happened, but definitely had the potential to be pretty awful,” said Pennington County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Casey Kenrick, supervisor for UNET.

The law enforcement agencies across the state listed below are working in conjunction to battle the fentanyl epidemic.