MIAMI (WSVN) - Law enforcement officials gathered at an emergency conference, Friday, in an effort to warn the Miami-Dade community of a synthetic drug more powerful than heroin, that when combined with other drugs, is fatal.
On Friday, the Miami Police Department held a conference with the Chief of Police in an effort to stop the abuse of the synthetic drug fentanyl, a powerful narcotic that has a high risk factor for addiction and is becoming increasingly popular in Miami-Dade County.
Fentanyl is a narcotic used by doctors for seriously ill patients. But now, this incredibly powerful pain killer is actually killing people.
“If we don’t do something now, it will affect our city in many dramatic ways,” said Miami Police Chief Rodolpho Llanes.
The drug, which is being sold on the streets, is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, said officials.
“And it’s really not until 2014 where we see an increase in the number of cases,” said Diane Borland of the Miami-Dade Medical Examiners office. “In other words, they pretty much doubled.”
The City of Miami Police Department and the Miami-Dade Police Department came together due to the higher number of fentanyl overdose cases in their police departments than in any other South Florida department.
According to the Miami-Dade ME, MDPD received 88 cases, and the MiamiPD received 99 cases of fatal fentanyl overdoses.
The problem is, people are mixing fentanyl with other substances, which could be deadly. “If you know anyone who is selling this drug, providing fentanyl, please call us,” said Freddie Ramirez of Miami-Dade Police.
And this isn’t the first time 7News has covered the horrible consequences of fentanyl abuse.
In February, Theresa Lawton’s 28-year-old son Carl Richard Pypers was found slumped over in his car at a gas station in Miami-Dade County. The toxicology report revealed he had overdosed from a mixture of fentanyl and heroin. “They found his body on the 19th of February,” said Lawton in tears. “He had a life. He loved life.”
“The drugs that are affecting our community on a daily basis are alarming to all of us,” said Llanes.
In the coming weeks, police officials hope to spread awareness of the epidemic through commercial advertisements, flyers and billboards.
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