AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo Police are warning the public about the risks of using illegal drugs after seizing $1.5 million worth of fentanyl pills.

APD Sgt. Carla Burr said they are concerned about drug overdoses and deaths, especially if there is fentanyl is any of the drugs people buy off the street or take without prescriptions.

Sgt. Burr said some people who manufacture drugs are putting fentanyl in pills that look like candy or disguising them as prescription drugs.

“We need to think about these drugs as they’re dangerous and it could be the very first time that you takeit, it could be the last time you take it. It could kill you,” said Burr.

Burr said parents need to talk with their kids about the dangers of fentanyl and know what is going on when they are with friends or at parties.

“Be open and honest about it and tell them, ‘Look, I love you, you’re my child. And I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. If you go to a party and you see this, yeah, I’m going to be mad that that’s happening. But I would rather I come get you. Let’s come up with a safe word,'” she said. “Let’s protect our children, let them know that the worst thing they can do is let peer pressure keep them in that situation and make them try something that they don’t know about.”

Sgt. Burr said everyone, including kids, needs to what fentanyl is and can look like because in some cases, just touching it can be fatal.

“If you see something, say something. If you’re a young person, and you’re going to parties, and this is happening, I get it if you don’t feel comfortable to call and report it to the police or Crimestoppers or whatever, but call your parents and have them come and get you and get you out of there. Because it is so dangerous.”

Burr acknowledged that many people become addicted to opioids or turn to drugs as a result of mental health issues. Between COVID, inflation, and other stressors, she said we are likely facing a mental health crisis—but drugs are not the answer.

“There’s reasons why people might want to go to using medication, but there’s resources out there, there’s even free resources out there for you to get help and do it the right way,” Burr added. “And not put yourself in a dangerous, potentially deadly situation by using something that you get off the street or from somebody that you don’t know, that could have deadly drugs in it.”

She said APD officers and Amarillo Medical Response personnel carry Narcan, a nasal spray that can be used to treat opioid overdoses.

It can also be bought over the counter at many Texas pharmacies.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse issues or an opioid dependency issue, click here for help or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).