5 N. Idahoans killed in 8 days from pills suspected to be laced with fentanyl

5 N. Idahoans killed in 8 days from pills suspected to be laced with fentanyl

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Five people in North Idaho have died in the past eight days from counterfeit prescription pills and other illicit narcotics suspected to be laced with fentanyl.

Officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Attorney’s Office and local police departments issued a warning Friday about the increase in the fatal overdoses.

Among the people killed were four males and one female ranging in age from 15 to 60. A release from the Idaho State Police said all of their deaths appear to be accidental and unrelated.

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Authorities in Eastern Washington have also expressed concern about the fentanyl crisis, even dedicating a new outreach program to spread awareness about it.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and up to 50 times more potent than heroin.

In the past year, overdose deaths in Kootenai County rose by 37 percent. DEA seizures of the drug in Eastern Washington have increased almost 200 percent.

Anyone who has information about who is supplying the counterfeit prescription pills is asked to call ISP at the Idaho Drug Tip Hotline 1-800-524-7277 or the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at 208-769-2320.

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