Booneville overdoses traced to fentanyl

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At least two of the overdoses have resulted in deaths; drug can be dangerous to even touch.

Booneville – Five overdose cases in the Booneville area are now being attributed to the deadly drug fentanyl, police are warning area residents. 

Booneville Police Chief Michael Ramey issued a statement Tuesday after tests confirmed the presence of two types of the drug mixed into narcotics.

“We are investigating a series of reported cases of overdose of illegal narcotics,” the statement read. “The narcotics are laced with fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl. They are in pill and/or powder form. We have confirmed three hospitalized individuals and two who are deceased as a result of ingesting these narcotics. Evidence gathered from one of the scenes was taken to the Mississippi State Crime Lab today and tested positive for the two listed substances.”

Fentanyl is an opioid that can be legally prescribed for certain patients, but problems arise when it is misused or obtained illegally and mixed with other drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some strains of fentanyl can be 50 times more powerful than morphine. Additionally, fentanyl in recent years has been traced to illegal labs in China and Mexico, where it finds its way to the U.S. where it is laced with heroin and sold to buyers without any warning. The results can be – and have been – deadly. And now it appears that threat is right here in Prentiss County.

“We want to make the public aware of how dangerous these substances are,” Ramey said in the statement. “This is still an ongoing investigation with our agency, the Northeast MS Narcotics Unit, and the MS Bureau of Narcotics. If you come into contact with these substances, do not touch them due to the potential potency. Immediately notify our agency at (662) 728-5611 or our tip line at (662) 728-1230 if you come into contact with these substances or have any information regarding this investigation.”