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Charleston police warn of deadly opioid fentanyl disguised as other drugs

Fentanyl pills

Counterfeit pills mean to resemble the prescription opioid OxyContin actually contain fentanyl. Charleston Police Department/Provided

Authorities in Charleston have a warning — the deadly opioid fentanyl, which has been at the center of the nation's ongoing epidemic of overdose deaths, is increasingly being mixed with other drugs like heroin, cocaine and marijuana. 

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

Because of its strength, it has also been found in pills meant to imitate Percocet, Oxycodone and Xanax, police said. 

Fentanyl-laced drugs have had deadly consequences in the Holy City, police said, noting 215 overdoses in 2020, of which 44 were fatal. 

So far in 2021, there have been 47 overdose cases, 12 of them deadly, police said.  

Reach Gregory Yee at 843-323-9175. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.

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