EL PASO COUNTY — The Colorado Springs Police Department's Metro Vice, Narcotics, and Intelligence Division wants to alert the public of a dangerous drug that is being distributed throughout El Paso County, including Colorado Springs.
Monday, the department issued a release detailing the drug as well as information on recent seizures of the drug in our community.
According to CSPD, Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate painkiller, is being mixed with heroin, meth, and cocaine to increase its potency and drive profits.
The department said the danger of the drug lies in the fact that many dealers and buyers may not know exactly what they are getting or selling.
The department also said that many users underestimate the drug's potency. It is 40 - 50 times stronger than street-level heroin. A lethal dose is estimated at two milligrams but can vary based on the user's body size, tolerance, and other factors, according to the department.
CSPD said Fentanyl comes in several forms, including powder, paper, a patch, tablets, sprays, and liquids. It is also appearing in the form of counterfeit or look-a-like tablets, which are being sold as prescription painkillers like hydrocodone, oxycodone, Percocet, and Xanax.
The department said recent seizure of tablets containing Fentanyl have occurred in the community and the tablets were marked to mimic authentic prescription medication.
Accoarding to CSPD, the Metro Vice, Narcotics, and Intelligence Division seized approximately 35 grams of Fentanyl in various forms in 2019. They also seized 3,766 dosage units of the drug, most of which was in the form of counterfeit oxycodone and Percocet prescription tablets. Counterfeit Xanax bars have also been seized containing the drug.
The department said in 2017, the El Paso County Coroner documented five overdose deaths related directly to Fentanyl. That number then rose to nine in 2018.
From Jan. 1 to Oct. 31 of this year, 17 overdose deaths have been directly related to Fentanyl use. At least three of those cases involved counterfeit Percocet tablets.