Fentanyl-Related Overdose Spike In Lane Co. Prompts Real Talk

May 27, 2021

Investigations in Eugene/Springfield continue over a recent rash of overdoses related to fentanyl. Some deaths are reportedly associated with fake prescription pills believed to contain the powerful drug. 

These recovered capsules have been emptied and refilled with a white powder containing some Fentanyl. The refilled capsules can be identified by the white, powdery substance on the outside and the manner in which the capsule has been pressed together in an unprofessional manner.
Credit Eugene Police Department

So far in May, the Eugene-Springfield Fire Department has received more than 50 overdose calls. Battalion Chief Mike Caven said in his 18 years in emergency service, he’s learned these spikes come and go.

“Until word gets out either by experience within the groups using the drugs or public education that, ‘hey, be one the look out. Make sure you trust your source, right?” he said.

Two 17-year old Eugene residents were found dead on May 15th- believed to have accidentally overdosed on fentanyl pills made to look like Xanax.

Caven said young people are commonly victims however

The M on one side and the 30 on the other are stamped to make the pill appear to be Oxycodone Hydrochloride, which is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. The pills pictured here are fake and actually contain Fentanyl.
Credit Eugene Police Department

“I think you really get worried when those who you’ve treated in the past, who are you know experienced users, get caught with something that they weren’t anticipating and when they overdose you realize that there’s something up with the supply,” he said. 

In most cases, users either acclimate to new batches or just get wise to them. Cavin called treatment the “ideal solution” because when it comes to some illicit drugs, “you just don’t know” what you’re taking.  

Fentanyl is many times stronger than morphine or heroin.

Eugene Police spokesperson Melinda McLaughlin said fake prescription drugs can be identified by the color and stamping on the pills. She said actual prescription drugs are     white or very light blue. The fentanyl pills 

Pills in this photo are blueish colored bars with B707 imprinted on them. B707 normally indicates Xanax, but these pills are fake and most likely contain Fentanyl, police say.
Credit Eugene Police Department

police are recovering are bright blue and unprofessional in appearance.

Officials in Lane, Lincoln and Coos counties have issued public advisories about the lethal fakes.