Authorities are investigating a rise in the number of fentanyl-related deaths in Riley County.

The Riley County Police Department noted in a Friday release that it has taken reports of eight suspected fentanyl-related overdose deaths since the beginning of this year. A majority of those overdoses involved young adults, aged 18 to 24, with most of those coming from counterfeit oxycodone pills, commonly referred to as “dirty 30s.”

Fentanyl is also commonly hidden in counterfeit pills appearing as Xanax, Percocet, or Adderall and has been found in cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin.

RCPD Director Brian Peete says the community is not immune to this national crisis. He advises the only safe medications are ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.

While previous arrests have been made, RCPD says its goal remains to identify, apprehend and prosecute any distributor and/or distribution network that is bringing these drugs into the community.