Anderson Co. coroner warns of street drug use dangers after several recent deaths

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FILE – This photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence in a 2019 trial shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation. In a resumption of a brutal trend, nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2019 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a new record high that predates the COVID-19 crisis. The numbers were driven by fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids, which accounted for 36,500 overdose deaths. (U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah via AP)

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore is sending a warning that street level drugs may be deadlier than some think. He advised that his
office is currently investigating several incidents in which victims have died of illicit drug
use over the last several days.

Shore said in the course of the investigations, the drug Fentanyl seems to be a
common denominator to the individual deaths and he is concerned that persons with an
addiction problem may be obtaining street level Fentanyl that is more than just Fentanyl.

“Fentanyl in itself is a deadly drug that can and does result in death. However, the most
recent deaths are alarming based on the fact that they are so close together and over a
short time period,” he said in a news release on Friday.

He said that the Anderson County community may have some street level Fentanyl being
distributed that may also contain Carfentanil. This combination is even deadlier than
the Fentanyl alone, according to the coroner.

“Carfentanil is typically utilized for anaesthetizing large animals, such as elephants.
Carfentanil, a synthetic Opioid, is a white powdery substance that looks like it could be
Cocaine or Heroin. Drug dealers mix it with Heroin to presumably make the Heroin
stronger,” Shore said.

Deaths involving illicitly manufactured Fentanyl and other synthetic Opioids are on the
rise, and have been since 2018, he advised. Street drugs such as Heroin, Cocaine and
Methamphetamines are being laced with Fentanyl as are other counterfeit drugs made
to look like the real ones, like Xanax.

Fentanyl works in the brain to block pain and is in the same class of drugs such as Morphine or Hydrocodone but is about 50-100 times more potent. Just 2 milligrams of Fentanyl can kill a person. Fentanyl blocks Opioid receptors and its most dangerous side effect, like other Opioids, is respiratory depression which can quickly lead to coma and death.

Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than Morphine and 100 times more potent than
Fentanyl. Shore wants to send a warning to people with an addiction disorder, that the street level Fentanyl, Cocaine and/or Heroin they are obtaining may be deadlier than they
think, Shore said.

He is encouraging individuals with an addiction disorder to seek help and to be
aware that this drug has resulted in several deaths in Anderson County.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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