Scottsbluff sees rise in opioids

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. -- Opioid use is increasing in the Panhandle.

In the past month, Scottsbluff officials say, law enforcement and health experts have been looking into counterfeit prescription opioid pills. Officials are raising concerns that they are often contaminated with fentanyl, a problem both Omaha and Lincoln police departments have warned of.

Fentanyl can be 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Intelligence indicates the product is manufactured overseas and has been smuggled into the U.S. for years.

Western Nebraska officials said they believed it was only a matter of time until the drugs arrived in the Panhandle.