Alexandria police issue warning to community about fentanyl

ALEXANDRIA, La. (APD) - The Alexandria Police Department addresses the ongoing problem of heroin and synthetic opioids in our community:

Photo Courtesy: APD

In March of 2016, APD investigated the death of a young man who had taken fentanyl-laced heroin. He quickly lost consciousness and emergency personnel responded, but were unable to revive him. In February of 2017, a young woman took what she thought was heroin—but it had been laced with fentanyl—and the same fate befell her.

Recently, in the early morning hours of January 27, APD officers investigated the death of a woman who had ingested drugs and died shortly thereafter. She was just a few days from her 19th birthday. She had taken what she thought was heroin, among other drugs, and it is suspected that she died as a result of adulterants mixed with the heroin. The results are still pending, and APD will inform the public when the cause of death has been conclusively determined.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is used in the treatment of severe pain, typically in advanced cancer patients. It is approximately 50-100 times more potent than heroin, and its effects can quickly lead to respiratory failure. Another synthetic opioid is carfentanil, which is 100 times as potent as fentanyl, and 5,000 times more potent than heroin. Heroin has obviously been a problem for a long time, however, the addition of fentanyl to an already serious problem of drug abuse has led to several deaths and close calls in the Cenla area.

The photo above shows a potentially lethal dose of heroin next to potentially lethal doses of fentanyl and carfentanil.

APD is cautioning residents and everyone in the Cenla area about the dangers of fentanyl, and of the dealers who peddle it. They say that people who are looking for illicit drugs should be aware of the dangers, and to rethink your decision. There are drug dealers who are intentionally mixing fentanyl and other substances in with drugs before they deal it to you. Your drug dealer wants your money, and does not care if you die from taking the drugs you bought from them.

Some have noted in the past that drug users are making the choice to buy and use drugs for themselves, and some have even publicly stated that it is their own fault. APD says their message is not to address the morality or legality or even the responsibility of drug addiction. The message is only one of caution:

"If you have a drug problem, please get help, and think about your decision. You have no way to know what is in the drugs you buy on the street, and it could easily lead to hospitalization or worse."

If you are ready to make a change and stop using drugs, follow the links found in the Related Links section of the page.

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