(WGHP) — On Tuesday, the secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services pointed to illegally manufactured fentanyl for the rise in overdose deaths.

Now the attorney general wants to form a fentanyl control unit.

Hundreds of pictures hang on the walls inside the Drug Enforcement Administration headquarters in Virginia, and each photo tells a tragic story.

“It’s not just about fighting for my child. It’s about fighting for everyone’s children. And I tell people I already lost my own child. This is about saving yours,” said Patricia Drewes, cofound of Forgotten Victims of Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren Counties.

In August, Drewes organized ta rally to educate other mothers, fathers and anyone who will listen about the synthetic opioid blamed for her daughter’s death.

At the time, she called on lawmakers to make sure the people distributing the drugs were held responsible.

Attorney General Josh Stein admits he needs more resources to fight the problem which is why he is looking to launch the fentanyl control unit, which is focused on helping district attorneys with large scale trafficking and overdose cases.

He told FOX8 “we must hold those who peddle this poison accountable and take them off the streets.”

right now, there are about a hundred cases involving fentanyl possession or distribution working their way through the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office and the courts.

We checked in with Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill, but no one in his office has yet to get back to us.

“It results in someone’s death. That is not an overdose. That is drug-induced homicide,” Drewes said.

This is all a big problem for our hospitals as well.

In January, Cone Health had nine fentanyl cases and no deaths. It’s the highest number since April 2022.

Novant health doctors have seen an increase in overdoses in the last six months.

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center could not give us specifics but told us staff is focusing on connecting overdose patients with medication-assisted treatment protocols like the buprenorphine program and giving them access to NARCAN.

The NCDHHS is working to give EMS teams in eight counties across the state buprenorphine to treat people who abuse opioids.

Three are in our area in Rockingham, Davie and Surry Counties.