Three people reportedly died last weekend as a result of a drug overdose linked to fentanyl-laced cocaine. Authorities are warning the public that the drugs might still be being sold on the streets and to seek help for anyone with a drug addiction problem.
Cocaine Laced With Fentanyl
Just last weekend, three people were found dead in the Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach areas, while two others survived an overdose. Two of the victims who died were found in a home after relatives grew concerned of the lack of communication from one of them. The victims were said to be between 30 and 47 years old.
Toxicology results revealed that the victims ingested cocaine laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be deadly even in very small doses. So far, authorities are conducting investigations on the matter, and no arrests have been made. They cannot publicly say where the drugs are being distributed by drug dealers, but they believe that it is still being sold.
On Sept. 14, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office (DA), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), San Diego Police Department, San Diego County Health and Human Services, and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office issued a public warning following investigations on the fentanyl-related deaths and overdoses. The agencies reminded the public of the dangers of controlled substances, specifically when it comes to fentanyl-laced cocaine currently being sold on San Diego streets.
According to District Attorney Summer Stephan, they are seeing a deadly trend of drug dealers cutting the drugs they sell with fentanyl, while DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers notes that they have been seizing fentanyl-laced heroin, meth, cocaine, and even counterfeit pills throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties.
“The public needs to be aware that it is not possible to tell if a product contains fentanyl. There is no test available at the drug store or from your dealer. The only test is in a laboratory. Don’t let your loved ones find out the test results at the mortuary,” said Flowers.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine even in very small doses. In fact, even just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal for most people.
It is typically used to treat sudden episodes of pain in cancer patients at least 18 years old, and it works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to the pain. However, fentanyl tends to be addictive and habit forming, which is why it is important to only take it as directed by the doctor and not in larger doses or for a longer period than prescribed.