Massive Fentanyl Overdose in California Kills 1, Hospitalizes Dozen

Blanche Robertson
January 14, 2019

At a news conference, Chico, California police captain Mike O'Brien said one man died at the scene and four other victims are in critical condition, reported NBC News.

A dozen people were taken out of the house Saturday morning and brought to hospitals, the Enterprise-Record reported. "That is yet to be confirmed, but we do anticipate confirmation in the coming days".

While the substance that caused the overdose has not been tested, O'Brien said, "We have every indication that this mass overdose incident was caused from the ingestion of some form of fentanyl in combination with some other substance".

In addition to that, two Chico police officers were taken to the hospital after they said they started to feel sick.

Chico Fire Department Chief, Steven Standridge, said the pair were "potentially exposed" to fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid that is frequently mixed with heroin.

Officers administered CPR and six doses of Naloxone, an opioid-reversal drug, when they arrived on the scene.

Eight of the victims were admitted, and of those eight, four were listed as being in critical condition.

Authorities said "everything was consistent" with a fentanyl overdose, but testing was still being done to confirm the drug was the cause of the death and injuries.

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Two responding officers were also treated at the hospital after complaining of feeling "some effects" but they were released and are said to be in "good condition".

"The residence where this incident occurred is being treated as a hazmat site".

The victims, O'Brien said, "generally" all "knew each other", according to the Bee.

According to The Bee, O'Brien says Chico officers began carrying naloxone in 2018 but, until recently, it has been used to reverse heroin overdoses.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever, is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

The home is now being treated as a "hazmat site", but O'Brien said it is "not a danger to the public".

Fentanyl is the most commonly overdosed drug in America, according to a recent government report.

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