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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A report from the Utah Department of Health says fentanyl-related deaths increased by 78 percent from 2015 to 2016.

KSL-TV reported Tuesday that numbers from the department show 23 people died from fentanyl-related overdoses in 2015.

In 2016, the number climbed to 41, surpassing the previous high of 33 in 2005.

The state health department is also concerned with the safety of police and first responders as fentanyl-related cases increase.

Epidemiology Manager Nathan LaCross if suspended in the air, the substance can be inhaled and enter a person’s mouth, throat and lungs.


Information from: KSL-TV,