Red Lake Officials Warn Public To Be Aware Of Opioids Laced With Fentanyl
The Red Lake Department of Public Safety is warning community members to be aware of opioids possibly tainted with fentanyl in the area. This comes after the department says they’ve encountered a number of overdoses in the past week.
The Red Lake Police Department issued a statement on their Facebook page today, reading in part: “This is an extremely dangerous and potent drug and is a ticking time bomb for heroin and other opioid users who may be unaware their product is laced with fentanyl.”
Fentanyl can be found in white and colored powders, and could potentially be present in any illicit drug. Fentanyl is 30-50 times as strong as pure heroin, and a dose the size of a few grains of salt can be fatal to an average-size person.
Drug dealers sell fentanyl in a variety of ways, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Dealers sell pure fentanyl in white powder form to users who assume they are buying heroin. They lace cocaine or heroin with fentanyl. And they press fentanyl into pills and pass them off as OxyContin.
When a user ingests fentanyl or a drug laced with fentanyl, it affects the central nervous system and brain. Because it is such a powerful opioid, users often have trouble breathing or can stop breathing as the drug sedates them.
Fentanyl may require multiple doses of naloxone to restore breathing. If you do not have naloxone, it can be picked up at the IHS hospital over the counter in Red Lake. If someone is too drowsy to answer questions, is having difficulty breathing, or appears to be so asleep they cannot be awakened, call 9-1-1 immediately, start rescue breathing and administer naloxone if you have it at home.
Affected individuals can contact the MARS program at the Red Lake Hospital, which offers a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) service to patients with opioid use disorders at 679-3912 or Chemical Health can be contacted at 679-3392 for other treatment options.
People are also to contact the Red Lake Police Department to report any suspected illegal drug activity in the community. The police department says they will take reports anonymously upon request.