WA: Whatcom sees five fentanyl-related overdose deaths in the last two weeks

Bellingham Herald News –

Whatcom County has experienced five fentanyl-related overdose deaths in the last two weeks, according to a news release from the Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force.

Two men, ages 60 and 48, and one 43-year-old woman died in Bellingham and two men, ages 29 and 42, died in Whatcom County as a result of accidental overdoses involving fentanyl, according to the task force.

Carfentanyl has been detected in some of those victims, according to the task force. Fentanyl is 80-100 times more potent than morphine. Carfentanyl is 100 times more potent than fentanyl. A single dose the size of a pinhead can be lethal.

“Illicit drug users may have no idea what is actually in the drugs they use, or the potency, until it’s too late,” according to Kevin Hester, task force commander and Whatcom County Sheriff chief deputy.

“On the street, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid usually found in powder or pill form and can be added or substituted, with or without the user’s knowledge, as the active ingredients in counterfeit Oxycodone, Percocet or Xanax pills,” the release said.

Whatcom County is now also seeing fentanyl sold in powder form that can be sold as methamphetamine or “China White” Heroin

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The task force and Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s Office offered these milestones in the growth of accidental fentanyl-related deaths:

▪ First recognized cases of fentanyl pills known as “M30’s” found on an arrestee in Whatcom County in 2018.

▪ Four fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2019.

▪ Twenty-three fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2020.

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Tags: Carfentanil Fentanyl Opioid Epidemic Overdose Safety Alert" >Methamphetamine
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