The city of Natchitoches, Louisiana has a drug problem, but it's not the amount of drugs, its what's in them. 

"We're letting people know that here in little Natchitoches, Louisiana we are starting to see things like what New Orleans is seeing, that Shreveport is seeing and it's making its way here," said Jesse Taitano, the Co-Commander of the Natchitoches Drug Task Force. 

What's found on the streets in Natchitoches can be found in most cities across the country, but the troubling trend here is the dangerous combination of drugs now being sold. Pills labeled Loratab are actually laced with stronger, more addictive ingredients, like Fentanyl. 

"The biggest concern is if I'm addicted to prescription opioids, lets say I'm addicted to hyrdrocodone. I go to a dealer on the street and he sells me Fentanyl and I take five of those pills thinking they're hydrocodone, there's a huge potential for overdose or even death," said Taitano.  

Another drug officers are finding on the street is synthetic marijuana, also called "Mojo." Drug dealers are taking an already dangerous drug in synthetic marijuana and combining it with angel dust, making the substance potentially deadly.  

"We've had several people just found out in the middle of the street and that was after smoking mojo, and that's a daily occurrence here," said Steven Clanton, Chief Deputy Coroner for Natchitoches Parish.  

Kush, grape, strawberry, the packaging on the drugs almost makes them sound all-natural, but what's found inside these bags are anything but. 

Taitano told KTBS, "those designer drugs are already highly addictive and could cause an overdose on their own, but the purchaser isn't expecting to get angel dust. They want synthetic marijuana but they're getting both and they don't even know it." 

According to the officers on the street, harder drugs like this Crystal Meth are beginning to make a comeback and its already having a devastating impact. 

"We're seeing a lot of younger people and repeat people showing all kinds of effects from psychosis to mania, to believing things are coming out of their bodies. I've even seen it when they have muscle break down and they go into kidney failure, all just from smoking something," said Clanton. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control 91 lives are lost every day due to the drug use. In 2015 over 33,000 deaths were reported. In Natchitoches Parish, these officers are doing everything they can to keep that number from going up.   

"You take Fentanyl for example, it takes just a small amount, like the head of a pin. It's enough to kill you. What's going to happen in the future if this continues, we are going to see higher body counts," added Clanton. 

Inside the department the evidence continues to mount up, boxes of illegal drugs stacked one on top of the other. Bags are filled to the brim.

Drug dealers on the street are looking into new and dangerous ways to make their products more potent, but with every dose comes the risk, that this high might be someone's last. 

The Natchitoches Drug Task Force is taking an active roll against any drug dealers that knowingly sell tainted drugs. If a person dies after taking those laced drugs, the dealers themselves could face second degree murder charges, which carries a life-sentence.

To report drug activity in Natchitoches Parish or to find help, contact the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force at 318-357-2248.

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