2 fentanyl deaths occurred in Chattahoochee the month before 'fentanyl overdose crisis'

·2 min read

Toxicology reports have confirmed two suspected overdoses in June were the result of fentanyl toxicity, according to the Chattahoochee Police Department (CPD).

These deaths preceded the "mass fentanyl poisoning event" that caused at least 19 overdoses in Gadsden County, nine of which were fatal over the Fourth of July weekend.

The first overdose killed a 42-year-old man, who was found unresponsive in his Chattahoochee home on June 6.

The other overdose happened on June 28, when CPD officers responded to a residence in reference to an unresponsive 24-year-old woman, according to a social media alert by the police department.

She was pronounced dead at the scene by Gadsden County EMS, the result of a fatal dose of fentanyl, said CPD Chief Deric Mordica.

Coverage of mass poisoning event:

Officers — after receiving consent to search the home — arrested the woman's then-boyfriend on two counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription; possession of drug paraphernalia; and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Chattahoochee PD investigator Marcus Dixon told the Democrat Friday that the drugs at the residence "have been submitted to the lab for analysis." Dixon did not believe the boyfriend was aware of the fentanyl-laced drugs.

Mordica said a connection between the laced drugs ingested by the man and woman in June "is possible." He added that investigators are working their hardest to find where the deadly batch of drugs came from.

Regarding the surge of fentanyl related overdoses in Gadsden County, Mordica said, "We've had probably more fentanyl overdoses than anybody in Gadsden County" over the last year.

Mordica said sometime in 2021, a fentanyl-laced batch of drugs caused three fatal overdoses in the span of a week in Chattahoochee. He did not comment further on this case.

Response to overdoses:

Other local law enforcement agencies including the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office and Gretna Police Department have not yet received autopsy results from the medical examiner's office, according to their respective spokespeople.

In response to the mass overdoses, local law enforcement agencies as well as school districts have began deploying Narcan, an emergency opioid overdose treatment.

So far, the Grenta and Quincy police departments as well as the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office has hosted Narcan training for all their officers and deputies.

Additionally, Leon County Schools held Narcan training for guardians on Wednesday where administrators pledged to provide the emergency treatment to every school in the district.

Contact Christopher Cann at ccann@tallahassee.com and follow @ChrisCannFL on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Fatal overdoses linked to fentanyl in Chattahoochee, Florida