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Fentanyl floods SWFL streets as number of patients addicted rises - NBC2 News

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – One of the deadliest drugs in America is flooding Southwest Florida streets.

Fentanyl busts are becoming more common in the area, with three arrests made for possession of the poisonous powder this week alone. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic similar to morphine but is 50-100 times more potent.

A Cape Coral couple was arrested this month after their one-year-old child ingested fentanyl after the pair accidentally left it accessible. The child did survive but the hospital staff was forced to use two doses of the life-saving drug Narcan to save that baby’s life.

RELATED STORY: Parents arrested after 1-year-old child overdoses in Cape Coral

This week, a San Carlos Park mother was arrested at her home just yards away from a school on a slew of drug charges and was found with 38 grams of fentanyl.

PREVIOUS STORY: Woman caught dealing fentanyl across from San Carlos Park Elementary

A pair of Collier County men were also arrested this week with enough fentanyl to kill more than 4,000 people, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. 


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Dr. Susan Hook, who runs Samaritan Health and Wellness in Cape Coral, which works with addicts in the area, said the number of fentanyl addicted patients is rising around the country and our area in just the past handful of years.

“In 2010 about 14 percent of opioid-related overdose deaths were caused by Fentanyl,” Dr. Hook said. “In 2017, we’re talking 59 percent of those deaths. Once opiates we’re harder to get-heroine came on the scene and fentanyl came on the scene.” 

She said the number of opioid addicts she sees is sharply rising as well.

“People are asking their dealers for fentanyl now,” Dr. Hook said. “I have people telling me I’ve probably overdosed eight times.” 

She said the amount of fentanyl needed to kill an adult is much smaller than the surface area of a penny. She said this poses a problem for anyone in proximity to the drug whether they mean to be or not.

“We’re having this influx of this synthetic opioid of fentanyl that could kill an elephant on our streets,” said Hook.

With more than 100,000 overdoses recorded between April 2020 and April 2021, Dr. Hook suggested keeping a dose of Narcan in your home because you never know when you may need it.

“With fentanyl unfortunately because it’s so strong might take a couple bottles of this,” said Dr. Hook. “This is part of a first aid kit now.”