CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A warning from law enforcement about a new, deadly drug combination, one they must tackle in the middle of a pandemic.
“If you don’t have emergency personnel close that have Narcan, the odds of you surviving that overdose are very, very low," said Mike Alford, SEMO Drug Task Force Undercover Officer.
Alford’s referring to the deadly drug fentanyl.
Recently, Alford said they’re seeing cocaine mixed with fentanyl, a new combination.
“We’re getting reports of different drugs that weren’t normally associated with overdoses. You can overdose with cocaine, but it’s not normal. But we are getting information that people are overdosing on cocaine that’s been mixed with other items like fentanyl," he said.
According to Alford, you cannot see a difference between cocaine and cocaine mixed with fentanyl.
This deadly combination could cost someone their life.
“I just talked to a family member of someone that died here recently. A 17-year-old kid who thought he was taking cocaine. and he ended up dying from the overdose. They weren’t able to get him to emergency personnel in time. Ya know it wasn’t right that he was taking cocaine to begin with, but he definitely didn’t think he was taking cocaine that would kill him, and that’s exactly what happened," said Alford.
The drug combination’s not only dangerous for drug users, but also first responders.
“We have to take precautions with personal protective equipment because of the potency of fentanyl, and some of it is even high enough potency that it can actually render you unconscious in just a few minutes,” said Larry Chasteen, North Scott County Ambulance District Administrator and Paramedic.
Plus, Chasteen said the stress of the pandemic doesn’t help either.
“It definitely has added definitely a higher level of anxiety than we’ve had before," he said.
According to Alford, they’re still seeing common drugs like meth and Xanax mixed with fentanyl in Southeast Missouri as well.
Alford recommends family and friends of people who use drugs have Narcan accessible in case of an emergency.
He also said it’s important to call 911 right away when someone is overdosing.
With the Good Samaritan Law, the person who calls the police and the person overdosing will not get arrested for their drug use.