ATLANTA — At least five people are suspected to have died from using cocaine laced with Fentanyl in the last week in metro Atlanta.
Channel 2′s Tom Regan was in Little Five Points, where the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, an agency that helps drug addicts, said several of the overdose deaths happened last week.
The group believes a bad batch circulated through Little Five Points, Virginia Highlands and Inman Park.
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The agency said each case involved cocaine laced with Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.
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“There has been to my knowledge, five people who I’m told sniffed Fentanyl-laced cocaine, overdosed and died,” Mona Bennett with AHRC said, adding that the victims did not have the tolerance for the Fentanyl,”
Bennett said the organization has talked to family and friends of the overdose victims.
“We have had several people comment that some of the overdose victims were self-employed, some of them were working in the movie industry, some were part of the bar staff in Little 5 Points and Virginia Highlands,” Alek Pike with AHRC said.
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On Friday, Star Community Bar is hosting a Narcan training event from 5-7 p.m. to help teach people how to use the opioid reversal drug to save lives.
There has been a rise in Fentanyl deaths during the pandemic.
“With mental health issues on the rise after COVID, this is particularly distressing because people are more likely to turn to substances like that,” Pike said.
Pike said it’s possible the overdoses are linked to the same drug source.
Channel 2 Action News has reported on Mexican drug cartels smuggling Fentanyl over the Arizona border as well as on massive amounts shipped from Chinese labs through the U.S. mail.
Atlanta police told Regan they have not been notified of the suspected Fentanyl deaths. The medical examiner said toxicology tests usually take weeks to confirm.