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Police and health experts warning of tainted fentanyl

Written by James Bryant | Updated on Apr 26, 2023


Police in Boulder are warning people about the possibility of a new type or tainted batch of fentanyl going around. It comes as the department says officers responded to five different overdose calls in a span of 36 hours.

According to the department, the first call came midday Tuesday at Central Park, and then several hours alter they returned to nearby 13th and Canyon for another call. By Thursday they’d responded to three more suspected fentanyl-related overdoses.

In two cases, an officer administered the overdose treatment¬†Narcan¬†— known formally as Naloxone — and in another, a community member administered the life-saving drug. No one died of an overdose, the department said.

“That was alarming in and of itself. We had two of them within a couple hour period,” said deputy chief Stephen Redfearn. “It’s not like all of a sudden on Tuesday more people decided to start using drugs. Typically, it means to us that something changed, or something is tainted.”

Redfearn and his department are now warning people about what they’ve seen while trying to get to the bottom of it. He said in one case, officers recovered a white pill, different from the typical blue pill they see. It is now being tested at a lab.

“I think people really need to be cautious about what they’re buying and where they’re buying it from,” said Steve Carleton, chief clinical officer for Gallus Medical Detox Centers.

According to Carleton, anyone using illicit drugs should take two simple precautions.

“Test strips are a really useful tool to test your drugs before you’re using them to make sure it is what you think it is,” he said. “In addition to that, people should have Narcan on hand.”

Redfearn echoed those calls, and in the meantime said his department is working to find and pursue the source of the drugs.
“We will not stand for anyone selling illegal drugs in boulder and we will find who is doing this,” Redfearn said.

Narcan has been recently approved for over-the-counter sales by the FDA, and outside of that there are many places around town you can get it.

Boulder also offers free overdose prevention and naloxone training.

Original Story From:

Conor McCue

Conor McCue is a general assignment reporter at CBS News Colorado. Read his latest reports or check out his bio and send him an email.

James Bryant

Digital Marketing Director at Gallus Detox Medical Centers where I work on all things digital. A Senior SEO specialist with 15+ years experience optimizing and marketing websites with a focus on addiction treatment centers.

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