Albany county sheriff warns about fentanyl

ALBANY — Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says it’s no longer a question of whether drugs have fentanyl mixed in, it’s how much.

“We tell people: expect fentanyl in every drug that’s out there. I guess the bottom line is how much fentanyl is in it. Is it enough to kill you, or enough to give you that high that you’re looking for?”

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He says his office has handled more than 80 deaths this year, and hundreds of overdoses, as users chase the feeling of their first high.

“It may take years, and that’s why when people are sitting in a car and one overdoses and dies, the other is like, my God that’s got to be the best. And they’ll do it,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Sunday sounded the alarm about dealers luring young kids with Rainbow Fentanyl, that looks a lot like candy.

“This Rainbow Fentanyl has our law enforcement agencies on edge, and with good reason,” said Senator Schumer (D – New York). “They’re trying to get children younger and younger to take this horrible drug.”

He wants to add $290 million in the federal budget to fight the spread of fentanyl.

“It’s be nice to see some of the people that are in the trenches every single day get some of that money to help keep our communities safe,” said Sheriff Apple.

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Apple says the region is inundated with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

“The problem is that you’ve got all kinds of fake pills going around out there now, pills that would look like a hydro or look like a Percocet, but they’re not. They’re like 10 or 17 grams of fentanyl which is– have a good night on that, you’re not going to survive that,” he said.

Carol Lewis’ friend just went into treatment.

“She got tested when she went there, they did intake, they figured out okay what are we going to do with you and she found fentanyl in her system. And she had no idea that she had even taken anything to have fentanyl in her system besides her usual,” she said.

The sheriff says there needs to be continued efforts at prevention and education, and more enforcement.

“It’s pretty sad when you’re catching people with a quantity of drugs and you’re just saying have a nice day. and they’re walking out.”

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Apple is looking at relaunching town halls where those in recovery can educate others.

“Bring them out and have them tell their story and maybe we can scare these kids from ever trying it, but the other point of the story is that if you’re going to try it, you’d better know what you’re taking because almost everything out there now is laced with fentanyl,” said Apple.