Deadly fentanyl becoming more common in street drugs
Fentanyl, a deadly opioid typically given to patients in severe pain, is more frequently being found mixed into street drugs in the borough, experts say.
Casey Schwartz, a former opioid abuser, says that at the height of his addiction he found a mixture of fentanyl and heroin to be the most potent high.
"As an addict, fentanyl is actually something I went looking for," the 41-year-old says.
But Dr. Susan Whitley at Kings County Hospital says fentanyl is deadly.
Last month, News 12 reported that authorities tracked the drug to a Brooklyn drug ring. Authorities say it is increasingly being mixed with heroin and sometimes cocaine.
"The risk we are seeing is overdose," Whitley says. "Any opiate can cause people to basically forget to breathe."
Fentanyl overdoses are treatable with the opioid antidote naloxone -- but only if it is administered in time.
Hospitals like Kings County have overdose prevention programs where people can learn how to use naloxone.