The US drug enforcement agency has reported seven cases since January in which several people died of overdoses after unknowingly ingesting fentanyl.
The United States is going through a wave of “mass overdoses” that have already caused at least 29 deaths and that are associated with drugs containing lethal doses of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced on Wednesday.
“In the past two months, there have been at least seven confirmed cases of mass overdoses in the United States, resulting in 58 overdoses and 29 deaths,” the agency said.
Many of the victims “thought they were using cocaine and had no idea it contained fentanyl”, a product considered 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, he added.
In a district of the capital Washington, ten people overdosed on January 28, after consuming ‘crack’, cocaine solidified in crystals, mixed with fentanyl, nine of whom died.
On March 4, 21 people overdosed and three died after consuming crack and methamphetamine, which contained the opioid, in a Texas homeless space.
Other similar incidents occurred in Florida, Colorado, Nebraska and Missouri.
“Fentanyl is highly addictive, is present in all 50 states, and dealers are increasingly mixing it with other drugs – in powder or pill form – in an effort to increase addiction and attract regular customers,” the DEA said. .
The agency also explained that fentanyl is present in fake OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin pills, powerful pain relievers popular with drug addicts.
Fentanyl is an opioid that is cheap to manufacture and deadly even in small doses.
This and other synthetic substances were detected in two-thirds of the 105,000 overdose deaths recorded between October 2020 and October 2021, according to the agency.
The DEA has advised authorities across the country to consider that fentanyl may be involved in every drug case they investigate.
Source: with agencies