HomeHealthOverdose deaths rise as fentanyl floods Colorado

Overdose deaths rise as fentanyl floods Colorado

golden, red — There is little time to waste when someone overdoses on fentanyl.

In Arapahoe County, Colorado last December, officers used Narcan to apparently bring a woman back to life after she took an illegal drug laced with fentanyl.

“It killed me,” the woman, who asked that her name not be used, told CBS News. “I was dead. They said if they didn’t get my heart back, I’d be dead or have permanent brain damage.”

The leading cause of overdose is fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin. Overdose deaths exceed 100,000 for the first time in 2021according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with almost 70% of them related to fentanyl.

Colorado saw a nearly 70% increase in fatal fentanyl overdoses from 2020 to 2021, with more than 900 deaths in total last year, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Fentanyl is flooding the state, entering through interstate highways and highways because the cartels realize that by passing through Colorado, they can reach large parts of the US.

“You have the I-25 corridor that runs north and south from Mexico. You have the I-70 corridor that runs east across the country,” said Cole Finegan, US Attorney for the District of Colorado. “So there are a lot of different ways once something gets to Colorado where it can move.”

Daily police stops across Colorado find fentanyl hidden in vehicles, and the backlog of evidence grows.

“The fentanyl just keeps coming,” said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “It is a poison that is continuously infecting, not only Colorado, but every community in this country.”

Packard said that those who sell fentanyl are motivated by profit and “don’t care how many body bags it turns out.”

Adding to the urgency, police say cartels are making fentanyl they look sweetmaking it more attractive to young people.

Kim Osterman’s 18-year-old son, Max, died of fentanyl poisoning last year.

“They are doing this deliberately to kill children,” he said. “They’re marketing it to children.”

It’s a supply chain that police are trying to stifle, but it shows little sign of shutting down.

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