El Dorado police warn of fentanyl-laced meds as overdoses rise

Fentanyl, which is often disguised as another drug, is often the reason drug use is fatal. (WHSV)
Fentanyl, which is often disguised as another drug, is often the reason drug use is fatal. (WHSV)(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 4:28 PM CST
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EL DORADO, Ark. (KNOE) - Authorities say there’s been a significant increase in overdoses in the Union County area in the last several months.

According to the El Dorado Police Department, several of these overdoses were due to fentanyl-laced prescription medication, a very dangerous combination.

As an added danger, police say it’s hard to tell these counterfeit pills from the real thing.

“These pills are being illegally manufactured to look like normal prescription medication that would be acquired from a pharmacy but are in fact counterfeit pills mixed with the deadly controlled substance Fentanyl. To the naked eye, it would be nearly impossible for a normal citizen to determine whether the pills are “real” or “fake”. Several different versions of these pills have been seized by Law Enforcement including Xanax, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone pills.”

Police say fentanyl-laced medication sold on the streets is a problem seen nationwide. They strongly advise against taking medication not prescribed to you by a doctor and picked up at a pharmacy.

The Centers for Disease Control website says, “Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is prescribed in the form of transdermal patches or lozenges and can be diverted for misuse and abuse in the United States.

“However, most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to illegally made fentanyl. It is sold through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine as a combination product—with or without the user’s knowledge—to increase its euphoric effects.”

Learn More: Fentanyl Data

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