A powerful drug often used to spike heroin and cocaine – sometimes unknown to users – has killed an estimated 700 people in the eastern United States in the past couple of years and has now swept into Orange County.
Acetyl fentanyl is cooked in underground labs, usually in Mexico, to emulate the prescription drug fentanyl – the most powerful opioid on the market. It provides an intense high and is cheap to make, so dealers add it to enhance their products, experts say.
Last year, for the first time in Orange County, four people died of overdoses on acetyl fentanyl. Other forms of fentanyl, including the pharmaceutical fentanyl, were detected in 26 other overdose deaths, bringing the number of fentanyl-related deaths to 30, the highest count since at least 2012.
Among those killed was a 19-year-old from South Orange County. He overdosed sitting on his sofa, with a white powder on his nose and mouth and a cellphone on his lap. An incoming text message asked if he was still looking for “blo,” according to a coroner’s report.
The teen had dabbled in cocaine and consumed alcohol, his family told investigators, but a lab test revealed the white powder was fentanyl, not cocaine. Read more http://www.ocregister.com/articles/fentanyl-708413-county-people.html