The number of WA state residents who've died from overdoses or misuse of illicit versions of the powerful narcotic Fentanyl in the first half of 2018 is nearly double that of 2017.

The Washington State Department of Health (WSDH) released new information this week, showing 81 people died from misuse of the drug. But it's not just prescription abuse.

The WSDH reports:

"Illicit fentanyl has been found in a variety of counterfeit pills made to look like prescription opioids. It has also been found in white and colored powders, and could potentially be present in any illicit drug. This is a dangerous development for heroin and other opioid users who may be unaware when drugs contain illicit fentanyl. Fentanyl is 30-50 times as strong as pure heroin, and a dose the size of a few grains of salt can be fatal to an average-size person."

WSDH officials stress to those who have or are using these kind of drugs to seek treatment as there are a number of options available. They include the Recovery Hotline, both online and via phone at 1-866-789-1511. They say get help before you potentially become one of the unfortunately victims so far this year.

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