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Police in Oregon warn community about potentially deadly batch of fentanyl

Eugene, Oregon — Multiple overdoses, one of them fatal over the weekend in Eugene, Oregon has led to police warning the community about a potentially deadly batch of fentanyl out on the streets.

Officers found one man deceased on the sidewalk at West 4th Avenue and Washington Street. Nearby, officers and medics saved another person’s life who they said was suffering from an overdose. A third person was also found, according to police, who had ingested the narcotic.

“This alarming series of events resulted in three overdoses within a short period of time in the Washington Jefferson Park area,” the Eugene Police Department shared on Facebook. “Given the severity and frequency of these incidents, there is reason to believe there is a bad batch of fentanyl in circulation. We strongly advise the public to be vigilant and to avoid any unknown substances.”

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid drug that's 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, equal to 10 to 15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose.

Illegally manufactured fentanyl is found in heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and in counterfeit pills. As a result, many people may not know they're ingesting fentanyl, leading to an accidental poisoning.

According to the National Forensic Laboratory Information System, reports on fentanyl (both pharmaceutical and clandestinely produced) increased from 4,697 in 2014 to more than 117,045 in 2020, as reported by federal, state, and local forensic laboratories in the United States.

The Eugene Police Department is actively investigating all three cases and working to identify the source of the dangerous batch of fentanyl.

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