(CBSDFW.COM/CBS Local) – The Tarrant County Narcotics Taskforce in Texas has wasted no time in 2021 ridding the streets of harmful drugs.

Last week, TCSO narcotic investigators took more than 91 grams of fentanyl off the streets and 18 guns, including stolen and fully-auto pistols, out of the hands of criminals.

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They also confiscated 86 pounds of hydro marijuana, over seven pounds of THC in liquid, wax and crystal form, 15 pounds of liquid codeine, and over $192,000 in cash, resulting in 33 felony offenses.

(credit: Tarrant County Narcotics Taskforce)

Investigators said deadly drug overdoses and homicides have increased across the country during the coronavirus pandemic. And synthetic opioids (primarily illicitly manufactured fentanyl) appear to be the primary driver of the increases in overdose deaths.

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Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

It is prescribed in the form of transdermal patches or lozenges and can be diverted for misuse and abuse in the United States.

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Like all opioids including heroin, fentanyl is a respiratory depressant – it interferes with the user’s ability to breathe. Because it is so concentrated people can misjudge the dose for themselves to dangerous degree.

(credit: Tarrant County Narcotics Taskforce)