CMPD: Fatal overdoses in Charlotte up 20% over same period in 2022

Just last month, WBTV featured two families impacted by fentanyl.
According to CMPD, fentanyl overdoses in the area are on the rise.
Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 8:04 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 10:31 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department addressed the community Monday to raise awareness about the impact of fentanyl in area communities.

Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat the nation has ever encountered, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. A lethal dose of fentanyl is just two milligrams, small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil, authorities said.

So far in 2023, CMPD’s vice unit has seized approximately 30 kilograms of suspected fentanyl, which is enough to kill 15 million people, according to the department. One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people.

The vice unit has also seized more than 84,000 suspected fentanyl pills, according to the CMPD.

Officials said that in 2018, CMPD reported 134 fatal overdoses for the entire year. So far in 2023, the department has reported 137 fatal overdoses, up 20% compared to the same time period in 2022.

“Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are very potent drugs that can quickly lead to cardiac arrest and death when ingested, inhaled, or injected,” Dr. Christine Murphy, a toxicologist and emergency medicine physician with Atrium Health, said in a statement. “We have seen many patients who believed they were using drugs such as cocaine and marijuana but have stopped breathing and suffered a life-threatening event because fentanyl has been mixed with the drugs they used, without their knowledge.”

Just last month, WBTV featured two families impacted by fentanyl.

Teenagers Olivia Moloney and Laird Ramirez both died of suspected fentanyl overdose. Both were students at Hough High School in Cornelius.

Related: ‘I couldn’t even hug my daughter’: Parents lose children to fentanyl overdose

Download the free WBTV News app for updates from this news conference as they come in.