St. Paul police report spike in synthetic drug overdoses

St. Paul police are warning of a bad batch of drugs on the streets after the city reported seven overdoses and two deaths in 24 hours. Many think it’s all about synthetics mixed in with drugs – a deadly trend that police and even treatment centers have seen for too long.

Lydia Burr of Hazelden Betty Ford said synthetic fentanyl is now responsible for the majority of overdoses and deaths. It’s cheap to make and it’s found in most common street drugs.

“It’s not just in heroin. It’s in other products, so people who don’t even realize they’re using opiates are overdosing, and that’s really scary,” Burr said. .

The latest spike in overdoses is why the Steve Rummer Hope Network is offering a free online course this Wednesday to demonstrate the use of naloxone. The drug can effectively reverse an opioid overdose.

The network also now distributes newly legalized test strips to detect the presence of fentanyl in drugs. The user must dissolve one of their tablets in water to use the strips. You should then submerge the strip for 15 seconds and let it develop for about two and a half minutes.

“If the control line is absent, but the result line is present, that will be a positive result and will indicate the presence of fentanyl or another synthetic opioid, and whatever that substance is.”

“We’re here waiting for you to call us, and we’re here to help,” Burr said. “We want nothing more than to have this common goal together.”

The Steve Rummler Hope Network is offering a special online course on naloxone starting Wednesday. They also now distribute fentanyl test strips.

Alvin J. Chase