Authorities: Potentially deadly opioid showing up in local street-drug purchases

Dubuque County authorities warn that a potentially deadly opioid is showing up in locally purchased street drugs.

Sheriff Joe Kennedy said he was informed by the Dubuque Drug Task Force that fentanyl-containing pills are being sold as other illicit substances, such as ecstasy or other prescription drugs. He was told of two overdoses connected to the task force’s investigation.

A press release notes that fentanyl, “a highly dangerous, narcotic analgesic,” can cause an overdose or death, even in small amounts.

“If you or a loved one are addicted to street drugs, we urge you to use caution during this time,” the release states.

Kennedy said authorities have not yet been able to find who is selling the drugs, so they made the public announcement to warn residents before additional overdoses occur.

Sgt. Gary Pape, of the Dubuque Drug Task Force, confirmed the ongoing investigation involving drugs being sold containing fentanyl but declined to comment on any related overdoses.

He said no drugs containing fentanyl have been obtained by authorities and that he could not provide further details on the investigation.

Authorities recommend only purchasing pills from licensed pharmacists or reputable legal vendors.

The release directs residents to visit samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline for help with drug addiction.