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Fentanyl found in most drugs dealt on the streets of Eugene, police say

one penny and lethal dose fentanyl.jpg
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration illustrates two milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose for most people.

Over the past week, Eugene has seen a spike in near-death drug overdoses. This coincides with reports of white, powdered fentanyl in the community.

Investigators with the Eugene Police Department are on high alert for mass overdose events. They report that fentanyl is found in almost all pills bought on the street-- from oxycodone to Xanax. And now there is the threat of powdered fentanyl being sold as cocaine.

Eugene Police Department
EPD investigators say counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl are now almost indistinguishable from the real thing. These blue pills are stamped with a M and a 30, passing as 30mg oxycodone.

Investigation Sergeant Wayne Dorman said the message is clear: party drugs bought on the street could be lethal.

“Most members of the public, if they’re offered a drug and they say, ‘Yeh, this may make you feel really good or it may kill you.’ They’re ‘gonna choose not to do that, right? Our concern is young people making these decisions at parties or other social events where there’s either pressure or they are already intoxicated and they’re not making rational decisions.”

Dorman says investigators have entered scenes where overdose is occurring and Narcan was being administered by another party goers. The life-saving medicine is available free at HIV Alliance and can be prescribed by any Oregon pharmacy. Intravenous drug users are urged to use test strips before injecting.

test strips.jpg
Users can test if fentanyl is in their drugs before injecting.

EPD said fentanyl is being laced into methamphetamines, marijuana and now cocaine. Because police are seeing this powdered form of Fentanyl they worry it will end up in other “party” drugs such as MDMA (also known as ecstasy) or molly. Earlier this month the DEA released a warning of a nationwide spike in mass overdose events, some of which were related to fake cocaine.


Dorman said even experienced opiate users of fentanyl are at risk because the amount laced in each counterfeit pill is unpredictable and that one hit could be their last.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.