‘Just a little bit will do ya’: Dangerous opioid creeping into street drugs causing unexpected overdoses

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A deadly opioid is finding its way into other drugs and causing unexpected overdoses in central Indiana.

Local drug harm prevention groups say they are finding fentanyl in nearly every drug but marijuana.

The opioid is more addictive than heroin, and it takes very little to cause on overdose.  Fentanyl generally causes a sleepy reaction, but it’s popping up in stimulants like cocaine and ecstasy.

“What we are seeing is people having an opioid overdose reaction because of drugs they aren’t expecting to have an opioid reaction in,” said Jes Cochran, founder of Circle City Users Union. “Just a little bit will do ya, just a little bit over that will overdose ya.”

Drug harm prevention groups said users should be carrying fentanyl test strips. The paper testers can be dipped into liquid drugs to see if contains the deadly opioid. They can also be used for powdered drugs by adding water to the bag or container they came in.

“It’s such more likely that any fentanyl would have brushed up on any part of the bag,” Cochran said.

Meth can create a false positive with the tests, so the drug should be placed in a half a cup of water with a very small amount of the drug added before testing.  All of these drugs are illegal and harmful.

“Folks that are using that die, they can’t get to a better place in their recovery, ” Cochran said. “And it’s very addictive and so from a market standpoint, it keeps me coming back, and it keeps me using.”

Fentanyl test strips run about $100 per box for 100 strips. Free strips are available from the Circle City Users Union, Indiana Recovery Alliance, and Overdose Lifeline.

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