LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) - Officials in Lafayette have issued a warning to the public about several recent deaths caused by overdose of the drug Fentanyl.
The Lafayette Police Department, along with the Lafayette Metro Narcotics and the Lafayette Sheriff's Office, say there have been at least eight deaths in the Lafayette-area during 2016, and at least five others outside of the city limits.
The drug, Fentanyl, is a potent, synthetic opioid analgesic with a rapid onset and short duration of effects. Fentanyl is being substituted and sold as heroin, and is estimated to be about 50 times more potent than heroin.
The primary producers of Fentanyl are China and Mexico. Local law enforcement is working to identify local suppliers and dealers responsible for distributing Fentanyl.
East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William "Beau" Clark says his agency has seen one Fentanyl overdose death during 2016, and another that was caused by a mixture of Fentanyl and heroin.
Dr. Clark says heroin is of greater concern in the Capital-region. There have been at least 13 heroin-related overdose deaths in EBR Parish during 2016.
Anyone with information pertaining to the use of Fentanyl is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at (337) 232-TIPS.