SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan (KSNW) – The number of fentanyl overdoses in Sedgwick County is spiking.

The spike in numbers comes after a record number of deaths reported in 2021.

Sheriff Jeff Easter said there have been five overdose deaths in the last couple of weeks.

While toxicology reports have not come back, Easter believes they all involved fentanyl. One of those deaths was an 18 year old. Easter said he is concerned about the growing number of teens getting hooked on the deadly drug.

“On December 7th, 2018, was the first time I tried fentanyl. And on January 27th, 2019, a month and some change later, I had my first overdose,” said an 18 yearold in recovery.

That 18 year old is seeking treatment at Bel Air Recovery Center, and he said he started using when he was 9 years old. Now at the age of 18, he has overdosed eight times, and he has lost six friends to fentanyl.

“Most kids want to live this ghetto hood lifestyle. They go into it not realizing that the consequences are permanent,” said the 18-year-old.

In 2021, there were 144 overdose deaths that involved fentanyl in Sedgwick County. Sheriff Jeff Easter said there are still 100 cases pending toxicology reports, so the number will likely rise.

“What we are recovering from scenes are like Percocet pills that you would get from a doctor, but these things are laced with fentanyl,” said Sheriff Easter.

“In the past two years, I’ve actually overdosed accidentally from fentanyl six times, and if I didn’t actually have people there that actually cared with Narcan available then I would not be here today,” said a 31 year old in recovery at Bel Air Recovery Center.

The clinical director of the Bel Aire Recovery Center said it will take a community effort to cut back on the number of overdoses and get people who are struggling the support they need.

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