|lookalike prescription drug|
Fenanyl is 25 to 40 times more powerful than heroin. It is so strong that the Centers for Disease Control recommends that first responders avoid skin contact. It is cheap to produce, and comes primarily from Mexico and China. It killed 20,000 people last year, including Tom Petty and Prince.
Morganelli described one case involving a 27 year old Lower Nazareth woman. She suffered from gastroparesis, a painful abdominal condition. Opioids actually worsen this condition. She nevertheless obtained what she thought were two Percocet pills, stamped with a "30" on one side and an "M" on the other.
The "30" refers to 30 milligrams, and Assistant DA Bill Blake said it's also the cost in dollars on the street. The "M" should be a reference to Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures Percocet.
With a prescription, it costs about $70 for 35 pills.
She took one pill. She never needed to take another. The first pill killed her in what an autopsy later determined was "acute intoxication."
Analysis of the remaining blue speckled round pill revealed it was fentanyl mixed with heroin. In Mexico, this is called "El Diablito," or the little devil.
Morganelli announced that his office is investigating all of these fatal overdoses. He expects to announce an arrest soon. In the meantime, he is warning purchasers of illicit street drugs that they may be in "real peril and danger." He urged those with addictions to seek help. "Our goal is to save lives," he said. "Those who are involved in the sale of street drugs do not care about your safety. They care only about their profits."