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Two Capitol Hill deaths linked to possible Fentanyl-laced cocaine overdoses — UPDATE

Two cocaine-related overdose deaths of men who had been hanging out together has prompted SPD to issue a warning about the dangers of Fentanyl, an increasingly popular and sometimes dangerously powerful opiate.

According to the SPD report on the incident, a 38-year-old man died early Saturday morning at an East Denny Way apartment of an apparent drug overdose. A man and a woman interviewed in the death investigation told police they had last seen the victim the day before when he told them he had been using Fentanyl.

Later Saturday, that same man who was interviewed by police also died of an apparent overdose and the woman was hospitalized after telling police she and her fiance had been using cocaine that was possibly laced with Fentanyl.

While the official causes of death will be issued by the King County Medical Examiner, SPD spokesperson Sean Whitcomb’s report on the incident called the two related deaths “very concerning” and warned that using drugs like cocaine and Fentanyl can have “lethal consequences.”

Original Post: 5/31/2011 3:57 PM —  Seattle Police today released information on two Saturday deaths that investigators believe may be linked to Fentanyl-laced cocaine overdoses. CHS has been looking into the deaths and can report that both occurred on Capitol Hill — the Denny Way address listed in the SPD report is not correct.

While the official cause of death has not yet been announced, investigators believe both cases are cocaine overdoses.

On May 28th at 12:55 a.m., East Precinct patrol officers responded to a report of a death investigation at an apartment in the 600 block of Denny Way.

The 38 year old male victim had possibly died of an overdose.  Officers interviewed the man’s two acquaintances, a 25 year old man and a 25 year old woman.  The two disclosed that they had had last seen the victim at around 2:30 a.m. the previous morning.  The two also disclosed that the victim had told him that he had been using Fentanyl, a very powerful opiate.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene to conduct their own investigation.

Later the same day, East Precinct patrol officers responded to another death investigation, this time at an apartment in the 900 block of 10th Avenue East.  The 25 year old victim was the same acquaintance who was present during the previous death investigation.  The 25 year old woman was as well.  She reported to officers that she and the victim used cocaine, possibly laced with Fentanyl, since their last contact with officers.  They both went to sleep and she woke up to find the victim, her fiancé, dead.  Out of an abundance of caution, officers requested a Seattle Fire medic response.  Medics arrived and transported the woman to Harborview Medical Center for evaluation. 

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to this scene as well.

While toxicology reports are pending, it is very concerning that these two fatal overdoses occurred hours apart. 

Area residents who use cocaine and/or Fentanyl should be aware of the lethal consequences.  Do not hesitate to call 911 for emergency medical assistance in the event an overdose is encountered.

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11 thoughts on “Two Capitol Hill deaths linked to possible Fentanyl-laced cocaine overdoses — UPDATE” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. “That’s always the danger with really potent stuff,” Dr. Coffin says. “Imagine you’ve got a big pot of drugs and you’re stirring it up. Some of that is inevitably going to clump. And some clumps are going to be weaker and some clumps are going to be much stronger.”

    This is stupid. This is not the reason the OD’s are happening. In a proper (AQ) mixture you will achieve a statistical ‘clump free’ equilibrium. The issue is rather that you need high scale and expensive products to properly measure fentanyl. A drug dealer who ‘eyeballs’ a cut would likely fuck it up. Moreover, if someone has a high coke tolerance but is opiate naive by time they reach the level of coke they need for a high they may OD on fent.

    With all that said, I’m skeptical the cocaine was cut with fentanyl, unless it was by the user who was making a speedball with coke and (too strong) heroin. No one who sells coke cuts it with opiates because A.) cocaine users don’t want the downer effect of an opiate and B.) opiates are expensive so why add them ‘for free.’ It doesn’t make sense.

  2. What senseless and unnecessary deaths. You play with the stuff you run the risks associated with it. Period.

  3. The 25 y/o male was doing speedballs just like the 38 y/o. His girlfriend did not know, and was only doing the cocaine, and that’s why she’s still alive. The question is, why did that young man continue robust, knowing his friend just died from the mixture, for god’s sake. That’s the power of addiction.

  4. Simon, let me take your point one step further. This sounds like the folks at the DARE program wrote it. Can we please have some straight-forward, honest, reliable, and unbiased information about this situation instead of some Nancy Reagan “just say no” b.s.? It’s a sad story about people who probably didn’t know what they were doing with Fentanyl. It is not a story that should be used as a scare tactic by SPD or CHS to convince people that some miscreant is killing people by mixing Fentanyl with cocaine, meth, pain-killers, Sweet-n-Low or salt for chrissakes.

    Based on the information you posted, here is how this story should have been written:

    “Two Tragic Deaths from Fentanyl

    Two people overdosed on Capitol Hill over the weekend. The deaths were related, although they occurred hours apart. It appears that both victims died as a result of using Fentanyl, which they may have used alone or in combination with other drugs. Fentanyl is a dangerous opiate that is deadly by itself, even when used in the smallest of quantities.”

    Quoting the SPD is unnecessary and is instead inflammatory and flies in the face of good judgment and journalistic integrity. The best deterrent to drug use and abuse is the straight, honest-to-diety-of-your-choice truth. Overstating, over-reaching, and over-proselytizing not only results in a collective deaf ear, but it is dangerous in its own right.

  5. Anyone who wishes death on other people for making decisions (however stupid they are) is a sad individual and is not any better then the same people you so harshly judge. Who knows what vices you have in your own life, I’m sure you’re not all virtue.
    This really is a sad drug to watch people lose themselves to. It’s interesting that SPD is just getting wind of it, it’s been around cap hill for at least 4 years and rampant at that. Heroines made a come back in Seattle and Fent is a stronger and cleaner high. I’d like to think use will stop. Addiction comes with tough times though. If people want to get away from it, they have to move away from it. or watch your friends die around you. Soul first.

  6. I don’t think “tictac” is “wishing death” on anyone. He/she is simply saying that, if you choose to use serious, illegal drugs, then you are at increased risk from dying from that use. Those who abuse drugs, and are injured or die, are not victims….there are consequences to such a choice. It’s a matter of personal responsibility.

  7. I’m sick of people glorifying hard drugs. Have you seen the group Poor Life Choices? They glorify this shit while promoting entertainment for clubs. Bullshit if you ask me.

    I should add that I’m pro legalization of all drugs. But I will never support glorifying them to club goers and kids who are easily influenced.