EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Between January 1 and October 31 of this year there have been 17 overdose deaths related to Fentanyl have been reported in El Paso County.
“With the opioid epidemic, there has been increasing access to this particular synthetic opioid through the black market and that has been more common on the east coast but it’s making its way west,” said Dr. Robin Johnson, Medical Director of El Paso County Public Health.
Since 2017 the El Paso County Coroner’s Office has seen an increase in overdose death’s directly related to Fentanyl.
The Colorado Springs Police Department says in October of this year, three deaths were linked to a counterfeit prescription drug, Percocet containing Fentanyl.
“They are putting in Fentanyl and bringing a pill press that has some of the same markings, it’s not a real pill. It’s not Percocet with Fentanyl, it’s simply something that contains Fentanyl that’s being marked as Percocet,” Lt. James Sokolik with CSPD said.
The amount of Fentanyl is not being controlled so users don’t know what exactly inside.
“It’s synthetic you can make it in a “lab” that’s not FDA approved and there’s no oversight or regulation,” Dr. Johnson said.
According to her, the drug is 100 times the potency of morphine, while it may be rapid and powerful it can have permeant effects.
“They suppress our respirations and so we stop breathing and it’s more common seeing overdose deaths with fentanyl than with some of the other opioids in the market.
Police said the best you can do is stay clear.
“The person who is standing in the streets is not a pharmacist, they are not worried about standards health care and making sure the right dosage is there,” Lt. Sokolik said.