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Sheriff Whisenant's Tip of the Month


April 2019




Pain medications come in many forms; however the two types which are increasingly being abused and stolen are pills and patches. Throughout the county, emergency room personnel and law enforcement officers have been dealing with an increasing number of overdoses and deaths due to pain medications and more recently, pain patches. 


Fentanyl patches are misused by the user chewing the patches which negatively impacts the victim’s breathing. Often officers speaking to the victim’s family are told the victim was sleeping and snoring very loudly. In reality, the person was usually struggling to breath.   A new analog drug in use is created by altering the Fentanyl patch, Acetyl Fentanyl.  Acetyl Fentanyl is being combined with Heroin which is causing almost immediate overdoses, due to the drugs potency.


Individuals who are prescribed any type of pain medication need to be aware of the location of the medicines at ALL TIMES.  Many residences and motor vehicles have been broken into for the sole purpose of obtaining the medications.  NEVER tell anyone you have a prescription for pain medicine unless absolutely necessary.  If you leave your pain medications at home, lock them up in a secure area that ONLY you know the location.  If you carry the medication with you in a purse or vehicle, NEVER leave it unattended.


Any unwanted, outdated, or medications that are no longer needed can be disposed of at the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, Morganton Department of Public Safety, Valdese Police Department, and East Burke Pharmacy. 


To view previous released tips, visit our archives file