St. Paul police report spike in overdoses involving synthetic drugs

St. Paul police are warning about a bad batch of drugs on the streets after the city reported seven overdoses and two deaths in a 24-hour period. Many believe it’s all tied to synthetics laced into the drugs - a deadly trend police and even treatment centers have seen for too long.

Lydia Burr of Hazelden Betty Ford said synthetic fentanyl is now responsible for the majority of drug overdoses and deaths. It’s cheap to make, and it’s finding its way into the most common street drugs.

"It's not just in heroin. It's in other product so people who don't even realize they're using opiates are experiencing overdose, and that's a really scary thing," Burr said.

The latest spike in overdoses is why the Steve Rummer Hope Network is offering a free online class this Wednesday to demonstrate the use of naloxone. The drug can effectively reverse an opioid overdose.

The network is also now distributing newly legalized test strips to detect the presence of fentanyl in drugs. The user must dissolve one of their tablets in water to use the strips. You should then submerge the strip for 15 seconds and let it develop for about two and a half minutes.

"If the control line is absent, but the results line is present, that's going to be a positive result and would indicate the presence of fentanyl or another synthetic opioid, and whatever that substance is."

"We're right here waiting for you to give us a call, and we're right here to help you," Burr said. "We want nothing more than to have that common goal together."

The Steve Rummler Hope Network is offering a special online naloxone class starting Wednesday. They are also now distributing the fentanyl test strips.