Broward County leads state in fentanyl deaths, statistics show

7 people taken to the hospital on Thursday overdose from cocaine laced with fentanyl and the synthetic drug is a growing concern across South Florida.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After paramedics and police treated spring breakers who overdosed on cocaine laced with fentanyl Thursday evening, 7 people were taken to the hospital and 2 remain in critical condition.

Wilton Manors Police shared a public service announcement warning of the dangers of the synthetic opioid on social media.

In February, Local 10 spoke to the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Miami Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration about the potency of the drug, and how it is often found in counterfeit prescription pills.

”People are getting addicted to them and seeking them out. And it’s very lucrative for these drug traffickers,” said SAC Deanne Reuter.

DEA officials said they are also seeing fentanyl mixed with other substances such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.

The most recent numbers from the Florida Medical Examiners’ Commission show Broward County leads the state in fentanyl deaths.

An official told Local 10 on Friday that the mixing of substances could be deliberate or a case of cross-contamination.

As for the laced powder that sickened spring breakers on Thursday, Wilton Manors police and the Broward Sheriff’s Office are working to track down where the drugs came from and are investigating what happened at the rental property.

About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.