Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds took to the podium Tuesday to address an issue she says has more than just increased – it’s a crisis.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid more powerful than almost any other drug, has been popping up in Iowa communities over four times as much this year than it did last year. That’s according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s laboratory that analyzed around 17,000 Fentanyl pills in 2021, and has already analyzed over 70,000 of them this year.

Reynolds says she blames the crisis on the pandemic, as well as drug trafficking at the U.S./Mexico border. She also blames President Biden and his administration for not doing enough to address drug trafficking at the border.

“I’ve been screaming about that since Biden took office,” Reynolds said. “I was part of 25 other governors that put a 10-point plan together to say, ‘Stop, secure the border, do your job, protect Americans and Iowans.’ These are coming into our communities and it’s killing our kids.”

The impacts of the Fentanyl frenzy are being felt in Illinois too, with nonprofits like Sauk Valley Voices of Recovery (SVVOR) in Dixon helping higher numbers of people with Fentanyl recovery.

“We’re seeing a ton of that lately,” said Gerald Lott, founder and executive director of SVVOR. “Out of about 50 people in the last couple of months, I would say probably 20 of them have been for heroin and Fentanyl. Fentanyl is easier for criminals to smuggle, it is easier to move around. It’s cheaper, faster, stronger, whatever.”

Not only has Fentanyl in general been popping up more in Iowa and Illinois, but people have also been finding it in places it shouldn’t be, such as laced into other drugs or even disguised as prescription medications.

“We’re seeing Fentanyl in marijuana, we’re seeing Fentanyl in cocaine, we’re seeing Fentanyl in all sorts of drugs,” Lott said.

Lott and SVVOR want to echo the message that Fentanyl is no joke and to not mess with it, or get help if you already have.

“Five crystals and I’m good, I’m high, I’m having a great time… Seven crystals and I’m dead,” Lott said.

Experts say it’s wise to use Narcan, an opioid overdose treatment, if you think you have accidentally ingested opioids.