Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Warns Parents to Remain Aware of Fentanyl Use as Cases Continue to Rise

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell (R) released a statement Monday pleading that parents remain vigilant for fentanyl use.

“I’ve spoken one-on-one with parents who have lost their kids to this poison. It is gut-wrenching to hear them talk about having a conversation with a child one evening, only to find that child gone the next morning,” said Mitchell (pictured above). “We will keep prosecuting these cases and continue to get this information in front of parents and the public.”

According to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO), the amount of fentanyl-related cases it has received has skyrocketed in the past few years, growing from 923 in 2020 to 6629 in 2022. So far, in 2023, the office has received 2,432 cases to persecute someone for possessing, selling, transporting, and manufacturing fentanyl. Mitchell said this year could be another record breaker if cases keep coming in as they have been.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recognizes May 9th as NFAD as a time to recognize the dangers of opioid abuse and increase nationwide efforts to combat the opioid crisis. The MCAO began participating in NFAD in 2020 when the office shared the signs of fentanyl abuse. These signs include irregular sleeping habits, rapid weight inflections, isolation, and anxiety or depression. Fentanyl is highly lethal, as just two milligrams of the opioid can be fatal, and many overdoses occur by accident as fentanyl is often mixed with other narcotics.

The county says the best way to prevent an overdose is to communicate openly with family members regarding the dangers of fentanyl, keep prescription opioids in secure locations away from children and track pills to know when any go missing, and immediately discard any pills that will not be used.

“The fentanyl issue is personal to me because it is ripping families in my district apart, taking the lives of kids that are the same age as mine, in some cases. That’s why I promised to put significant county resources into keeping this dangerous drug out of our neighborhoods and punishing those responsible for bringing it here,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman.

However, a recent announcement from the DEA shows why raising awareness of fentanyl is so essential. Previously, the administration found that roughly 40 percent of tested illicit pills contained over the lethal dosage of fentanyl, but after 2022, that number has risen to 60 percent. At worst, over half of the pills being trafficked into the country can potentially cause an overdose.

Smugglers are still attempting to bring mass amounts of opioids across the southern border. On Monday, Nogales Port of Entry Director Michael Humphries announced that in less than a week, his agents confiscated over 780,000 fentanyl pills hidden in vehicles and on immigrants. Additionally, another 400,000 pills were discovered at the start of May, meaning authorities have already found over 1 million pills since the month began.

This is without mentioning that Nogales border patrol officers found nearly a million fentanyl pills during the last week of April. If the DEA’s 60 percent statistic is correct, then since April 26th, officers have seized enough fentanyl to cause roughly 1.2 million overdoses.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 294 confirmed opioid-related deaths in Arizona since 2023 began.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Rachel Mitchell” by Rachel Mitchell for Maricopa County Attorney. Background Photo “Fentanyl” by Port Director Michael W. Humphries.


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One Thought to “Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Warns Parents to Remain Aware of Fentanyl Use as Cases Continue to Rise”

  1. RC

    I personally feel this drug thing has gone entirely too far. No doubt some so-called “Democrat” wants our kids to have drugs and he should answer for it. That being the case, if somebody’s kid dies from having drugs of any kind and wants to shoot the rotten bastard who did it I’ll loan him the gun. It will be a Colt .45 loaded with JHP ammunition. What I’m offering might be illegal but who gives a damn when our children are being murdered by our “President” and the drug cartels? Personally, I’m beginning to wonder that since Biden gets a lot of money from China, how much is he getting from the Mexican drug cartels?