Pills laced with fentanyl raise risk of overdose

Fentanyl still poses a deadly risk for people looking to buy opioids.
Updated: Jul. 14, 2022 at 8:34 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Opioids are sometimes prescribed to patients by doctors to take care of pain, but the drugs are also a quick fix for people with addictions and bought on the streets.

Opioids when taken properly can alleviate physical pain, especially for cancer patients. For some people they offer and escape for emotional pain or provide a temporary high. The Illinois Poison Center warns those drugs should be prescribed by a doctor. If bought on the street; they could be deadly.

“Everything is getting laced with fentanyl which is causing the overdose,” said Kyle Boomer, Winnebago County Deputy Chief.

Boomer says users don’t know they are ingesting fentanyl most of the time, a lethal dosage is about 2-milligrams, but those supplying the drugs illegally don’t watch measurements.

“Heroin became the most common drug and now heroin has been taken over by fentanyl,” said Boomer.

Rockford receives several hundred overdose calls a year, at least two a day, according to Brian Park, the Rockford Fire Department EMS Coordinator. When they do treat an overdose patient, they use Naloxone to slightly wake the patient and continue treatment.

“Opioid overdose are most unique in that we really do have an antidote for readily available, that’s not universal for the majority of our overdoses,” said Park.

“There’s a lot of fentanyl that’s entering through our borders and there’s a lot of fentanyl even within the states,” said Jerry Storm, OSF HealthCare Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Services.

Rockford Fire Department authorities follow up with overdose patients 48-hours after to make sure they are okay.

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