By Brad Segall
MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) — Two recent fatal drug overdoses in Delaware County have law enforcement authorities warning people about a deadly form of a legal painkiller that’s finding its way onto the streets.
Authorities say the prescription painkiller fentanyl is being converted into a street drug, and they say people who are buying it believe they are purchasing a more potent and higher quality of heroin.
Delaware County district attorney Jack Whelan says even minimal use of the drug can have deadly consequences.
“Anybody that’s using this type of drug, marked ‘Flashback’ in red ink, is taking a fatal dose once that individual uses it, and it’s almost immediate suicide,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
Whelan says the drug can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 40 times stronger than heroin.
On the streets of Delaware County, he says, it’s often available in powder form and is known to be snorted or injected into the bloodstream.
There were two overdoses in Upper Darby and Springfield last month, in what the DA describes as relatively modest, middle-class neighborhoods.