SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Three people have died from ingesting cocaine laced with fentanyl in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach this month.
Two other people who ingested the laced cocaine overdosed but survived, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. The victims ranged in age from 30- to 47-years-old.
No arrests have been made, but authorities believe more of the dangerous blend is being sold by drug dealers.
The deadly trend in the two beach communities highlights the dangers of using the drug and the possibility of other laced substances on San Diego streets.
"We’re seeing a dangerous trend of drug dealers and cartels cutting various drugs with fentanyl and increasingly it’s a recipe for death," said District Attorney Summer Stephan. "The public needs to be aware of the danger of using any controlled substance, but specifically quantities of cocaine that are currently on the street in San Diego that may be laced with fentanyl."
Fentanyl deaths are spiking in San Diego County already, according to the DA's office.
In 2017, there were 81 fatal overdoses reported connected to the drug by itself or connected to other substances. That's more than double 2016's rate, officials said.
"The Medical Examiner has seen a steady increase in fatal overdose cases over the years where fentanyl has been added to opiates," said San Diego County’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Glenn Wagner. "But now we’re seeing an emerging pattern of cases where fentanyl is unexpectedly added to other drug combinations. It’s a new, deeply concerning trend."
Fentanyl is classified as a synthetic opioid that's about 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, even in small doses. As little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be a fatal dose for most people.
Any in need of help or treatment options can call the San Diego County Access and Crisis Line at 888-724-7240 or 2-1-1 San Diego 24 hours a day, seven days a week.