LOUISIANA (KLFY) – A street drug that killed zero people in Lafayette Parish just 10 years ago is now killing over 100 people every year. Fentanyl is creating a serious health concern to Acadiana.

Local health officials, law enforcement agencies, and city and parish elected officials teamed up Wednesday, holding an awareness event to battle the deadly drug plaguing Acadiana and the state.

The Lafayette Parish coroner told News 10, in 2015, he saw about 42 overdoses in Lafayette Parish. None involved fentanyl. Fast-forward to 2022, he said he saw 145 overdoses, and 114 were from fentanyl.

“It used to be most of the overdoses we saw were people with methamphetamine, cocaine, and some prescription drugs. Now we’re seeing it with the chronic user, but we’re also seeing it with individuals taking it for the first time,” Lafayette Parish Coronor Doctor Kenneth Odinet said.

He said an amount of fentanyl just bigger than a pin head is enough to kill.

“It’s being put in different medications that are being used everyday like Adderall, some sleeping pills, some pain medicines. It’s being put in there, and people don’t know they’re getting it. Then it’s too late, and they overdose,” he added.

“They can inadvertently get their hands on something like these fake pills that are counterfeit pills that might look like something like Adderall, Xanax, or oxycodone, but in fact, are fake pills that are pure fentanyl,” Regional Medical Director Dr. Tina Stefanski added.

She said fentanyl is incredibly potent, much more potent that morphine and heroin.

“We’ve seen just tremendous increases throughout our region, more than triple the number of people who have died just over the span of about 5 years from this drug,” she told News Ten.

“It’s here in Acadiana. We’re seeing increases in overdoses, and we want people to have all the information and tools at hand,” Dr. Stefanski said.

She added the key to stopping fentanyl overdoses is awareness.

Doctor James McNally, who practices family medicine in Jennings, added that people who are dependent on opioids should get help.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that there are treatments out there for people with opioid addiction,” Dr. McNally said.

He suggests finding a physician or a program that uses a Buprenorphine therapy.

“You want to try to get treatment before you unfortunately get ahold of something very dangerous, fentanyl, that you aren’t sure exactly what the dose is that could lead to an overdose,” he said.

It’s also not just Acadiana where communities are seeing fentanyl deaths. It’s the entire country. So far this year, the DEA has seized enough fentanyl to kill every American.