Three of them are close together in the city’s downstream neighborhoods. Police suspect at least one of them is drug-related.
NEW ORLEANS – “Angel” and “Kano” live on the streets of New Orleans.
You’ll see firsthand the deadly impact fentanyl is having on the community.
“A lot of people don’t know they’re taking fentanyl,” Angel said. “They don’t even know what fentanyl is. It is stronger than heroin and more addictive than heroin.”
“People will tell you they can ask for pure heroin, and they’ll give you fentanyl because they don’t even know it themselves,” Kano said.
“There are no more opiates on the street. It’s all fentanyl now,” Angel added.
New Orleans Police Department is investigating four unclassified deaths in 24 hours.
Three of them are close together in the city’s downstream neighborhoods.
Police suspect at least one of them is drug-related.
The deaths come as local addiction treatment provider Odyssey House is seeing a spike in patients testing positive for fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is getting into other drugs, other street drugs that aren’t traditionally used by opioid users,” said Amy Bosworth, COO of Odyssey House.
Bosworth said it’s particularly dangerous because one dose of fentanyl can kill you.
“We’ve had a lot of people and a lot of information about people who are traditional cocaine users and find that their cocaine has fentanyl laced with it. It’s really very dangerous.”
Unfortunately, users are willing to take the risk.
“First people care, but then it gets to a point where people just try, they start living 4 to 6 hours because they have to get this fix every 4 to 6 hours,” Kano said . “Every 4 to 6 hours they have to figure out how to get the money to get that.”
Odyssey House recommends that the city make fentanyl test strips and Narcan, a life-saving drug that can reverse an overdose, more widely available in the community and then conduct an awareness campaign to educate people on how to use them.
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