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With 2 fatal overdoses, agencies work together to keep fentanyl scourge out of Erath County.

Law enforcement officials say it only takes a single pill laced with a small amount of fentanyl to kill a person.

That’s what happened to a 19-year-old Erath County man who died in June 2021 after overdosing on the deadly drug.

Erath County Sheriff’s Deputy David Southerland told Beneath the Surface News that the man traveled with friends to Fort Worth where he purchased “perc 30,” a Percocet pill laced with fentanyl.

Hours later, he was dead.

“The family found him unresponsive the next morning,” Southerland said. “Additional pills (found with his body) tested positive for fentanyl.”

Chief Deputy Jeremy Woodruff said the department has seen such an increase of fentanyl in Erath County that deputies now carry Narcan, an effective counteragent used in suspected opioid overdoses.

“Fentanyl is here and we are seeing it, so it’s a problem,” Woodruff said. “Our deputies have been trained on how and when to use it.”


Since 2019, fentanyl-related deaths among Texans have increased more than 500%, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines fentanyl as “a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.”

The CDC reports that in Texas, more than 5,000 people died of drug overdoses between October 2021 and October 2022.

Woodruff said that illegally manufactured fentanyl is often slipped into other drugs like counterfeit pills, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine without the user’s knowledge, leading to accidental poisoning.


Stephenville Police Chief Dan Harris said area law enforcement agencies are working together, along with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, to keep fentanyl from becoming a problem in Erath County.

“Our narcotics division and canine unit are out looking for it,” Chief Harris said. “All of our officers carry Narcan to reverse the side effects should we come across someone who has overdosed.”

Chief Harris said there has been at least one fentanyl-related death in Stephenville.

“He brought it in from the oil field for his own personal use,” Chief Harris said. “He was addicted.”

Dublin Police Chief Cameron Ray said fentanyl has not become a problem in his city yet and he is working hard to keep it that way.

“We have been doing public outreach training in our schools about the dangers and effects of fentanyl,” Chief Ray said. “All of our officers are trained in the use of Naloxone (Narcan) and have all been issued it in the event we run across an exposure or overdose.”

Law enforcement officials are asking the public to report any suspected fentanyl in the area.

“We are doing everything we can to keep it out of here,” Chief Harris said.

1 Comment

May 15

It is encouraging to see agencies joining forces to combat the devastating effects of fentanyl overdose. Like organizations like the Canadian Centre for Addictions, this is an important step towards protecting our communities and saving lives.

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