Tainted Street Drugs Result in 28 Overdoses, 6 Fatal, in Sacramento County

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Unused Fentanyl patch packets are seen in an undated file photo. (Credit: Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times)

Unused Fentanyl patch packets are seen in an undated file photo. (Credit: Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times)

A tainted version of the prescription opiate Norco being sold on the streets of Sacramento County has led to dozens of overdoses and at least six deaths in less than a week, county health officials said Tuesday.

On Friday, Sacramento County public health officials announced that a dozen people had overdosed in just 48 hours from what appeared to be Norco pills laced with fentanyl, an opiate about 80 times stronger than morphine and 100 times stronger than heroin.

But those figures soared over the weekend, said Laura McCasland, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County Division of Public Health. As of Tuesday, health workers have reported 28 overdoses, with six of them fatal, McCasland said. All of them have been reported since March 23.

“That’s why it’s an emergency and we want to get the word out,” she said.

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