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At least nine people died during the long weekend holiday of the Fourth of July in rural northwest Florida — the majority from fentanyl overdoses.
According to the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office in the Florida Panhandle, two women were found dead in their homes last Friday, presumably due to consuming mixed fentanyl, after which they issued a public alert.
Over the weekend, seven other people died due to a bad batch of mixed fentanyl, allegedly with marijuana and cocaine, as the local Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported.
Out of the total of nine deaths, the cause for seven of them has been confirmed by local authorities, while two others are still under investigation, although they are presumed to be related to the batch of mixed fentanyl.
In one of the deaths, the authorities reported a passenger perished in a vehicle after the driver passed out from consuming fentanyl.
According to the authorities of the mentioned county, there have been other overdose cases this weekend that resulted in four cardiac arrests, and six people have been admitted to the emergency room and placed on life support.
Fentanyl is a synthetic drug 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which notes that it is the most common drug behind overdose cases.
As stated by provisional data from this government agency, nearly 108,000 people died from drug overdoses between January and December 2021, representing a 15% increase over 2020.