Fentanyl use has become a crisis that's taking lives across the nation, and Windsor-Essex is not immune.

Opioid use was responsible for 43 deaths in Windsor-Essex in 2015, according to the local health unit.

The Crime Stoppers of Windsor and Essex County want to help nip it in the bud.

Coordinator Amanda Allen says, "It's a nasty drug, and it's important we do our part."

Crime Stoppers is targeting fentanyl by offering up a $1,000 reward to anyone who provides information leading to fentanyl trafficking in Windsor, Essex, LaSalle or Amherstburg area.

"If they're trafficking, we need to get them off our streets. If they're killing our residents and that's not acceptable," says Allen.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Police say its most commonly found in patch form locally. Police say a recent bust netted fentanyl in crystalline form -- a discovery they've referred to as “alarming.”

Sgt. Steve Betteridge of Windsor Police says, "This is an extremely dangerous drug that can instantly kill you."

According to Ontario’s chief coroner, fentanyl was responsible for 165 deaths in 2015 -- the most recent year for which statistics are available.

Allen says the large reward has been successful in other jurisdictions -- and worth a try here.

“If we can get one trafficker off the street, to us, it's a success."

Even if you don't have a tip, you can still help.

Crime Stoppers has launched a plaque program. Businesses in Windsor-Essex can pay $200 a year over five years for a sponsorship to help fund these large reward initiatives.

The drug-reduction strategy starts now and wraps up June 30.