Pain Killer Used in Lethal Drug Conconction Kills 3 in NC

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by Christine Noel

CHARLOTTE, NC-- There are growing concerns about a synthetic drug that's been linked to the deaths of at least three people in North Carolina. It's called acetyl fentanyl: an analog of fentanyl, which is a power synthetic opiate commonly used by paramedics to alleviate pain.

In January, three people died from fentanyl-laced drugs in Sampson, Person, and Transylvania counties. For drug addicts, fentanyl mixed with heroin produces a high that leaves users in a state of euphoria, but can have dangerous, even deadly results. Medic Spokesperson Eric Morrison says fentanyl is more powerful that morphine. "Fentanyl is one of those drugs that the Federal Government pays very close attention to," says Morrison.  "And it's not something that is easily accessible to people. That leads to the question, how is this even happening?"  

Morrison says fentanyl is administered in tiny doses, and if too much is administered or gets into the wrong hands, it can cause a person to stop breathing, which ultimately can lead to death. WCCB reached out to the Mecklenburg County Health Department; they say they don't track fentanyl-related incidents.

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