The Grand Forks Police Department responded to "numerous narcotic related drug overdoses," including one fatality on Saturday, Sept. 11.
Police said "several subjects have ingested what they believed to be heroin and began overdosing, requiring immediate medical intervention." Police believe the substances may have included a "more powerful opiate, causing these overdoses."
The total number of incidents was not immediately available, but Lt. Jeremy Moe said Sunday, Sept. 12, that the incidents were at multiple locations around town. It's unknown at this time whether all are related.
The identity of the person who died is being withheld, pending family notification.
"We once again urge citizens to refrain from using any drugs or medication that were not obtained from a doctor, pharmacy or other reputable business," the release said. "There is no way of knowing what you are actually taking if pills or other substances are obtained from an illicit source."
The Grand Forks Police Department and Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force are actively investigating to determine the source of the narcotics, the release said.
Moe noted that overdoses have been higher this year in Grand Forks. Already, the department has seen around 50 since January, noting the department is tracking as many overdoses as it can, not just ones from fentanyl or heroin.
"With that recently, we've seen some some higher numbers just in the past couple of weeks," Moe said, adding the department has been sharing information about overdose awareness on its social media page over the past couple of years.
The department has shared information about blue M30 pills multiple times, including Saturday night.
"Our concerns are that people are taking these substances they're not prescribed," he said. "They may think they're real, or they might know that they're not real prescription narcotics, and they are taking them and not realizing the results. It only takes one pill, and it can can cause serious bodily injury or death."
He encouraged people to get rid of the pills, because they can be dangerous.
The exact causes for the Saturday overdoses, and whether they're related to the M30 pills, is still being investigated.
Anyone with information on is asked to contact the GFPD by one of the following methods:
- Call: 701-787-8000
- Online: Submit a tip via the GFPD’s Facebook or website
- App: Submit a tip via the Tip411 app
The department thanked paramedics from Altru Health Systems and members of the Grand Forks Fire Department for their assistance with the calls.
The department also shared overdose prevention information and other drug counseling information:
- For information on overdose prevention please visit: https://prevention.nd.gov/stopoverdose
- For opioid treatment locations, please visit: https://dpt2.samhsa.gov/treatment/directory.aspx
- Narcotics Anonymous can be found at: https://na.org
The release also included information about local drug counseling services:
- Northeast Human Service Center 701-795-3000 or Crisis line: 1-800-845-3731
- Agassiz Associates: 701-746-6336
- Drake Counseling: 701-757-3200
- Riverview Recovery Center: 218-230-0787