LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Lafayette law enforcement officials are warning residents about the dangers of abusing the deadly drug fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a potent, synthetic opioid analgesic with rapid onset. The effects only last for a short period of time.
Authorities say fentanyl is being substituted and sold as heroin on the streets of Acadiana.
Drug users are using fentanyl the same way the would use heroin, but fentanyl is estimated to be about 50 times more potent.
Officials with the Lafayette Metro Narcotics, Lafayette Sheriff’s Office, and Lafayette Police Department held a news conference Friday morning to discuss the deadly drug.
Since the beginning of 2016, eight people have died from overdosing on fentanyl in the city of Lafayette and five have died from overdosing on the drug in Lafayette Parish.
Only three people died from fentanyl overdoses in the parish last year. The primary producers of fentanyl are China and Mexico, officials say.
Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber said even more deaths may be attributed to fentanyl, pending toxicology reports by the coroner’s office.
In a statement following the news conference, the Lafayette Police Department said:
“Local and state law enforcement officials are working together to identify and arrest suppliers and dealers responsible for putting the drug on the streets.”
Anyone with information about the illegal use of fentanyl is encouraged to call Local Law Enforcement or Crime Stoppers at 232-TIPS.