Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, has been linked to multiple overdoses and deaths throughout the Sacramento region since last week. The overdoses are occurring at an alarming rate and are the basis for this public safety alert.
Fentanyl is an odorless substance considered to be 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is potentially lethal, even at very low levels.
As of March 31, according to the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services, there have been a reported 42 opioid-related overdoses and 10 deaths. Overdose victims range from 18 - 59 years of age, approximately 50% are male and 50% are female.
Public Health and Law Enforcement officials believe that the pills containing Fentanyl were likely sold on the street under the guise of being legitimate hydrocodone. Additionally, the pills are marked to mimic the authentic hydrocodone product. However, the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services reports that test results show that some of the tested pills did not contain hydrocodone, but rather Fentanyl.
The DEA urges the public not to take a prescription drug unless prescribed by your own physician and obtained from a reputable pharmacy.
The public can submit investigative tips anonymously to dea.gov/ops/submit.php, or by calling (530) 722-7577. If there is an immediate threat to human health or safety it should be reported to law enforcement officials.
Drug Enforcement Administration