Fentanyl popping up in cocaine in Denver metro area

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — Fentanyl is popping up in cocaine in and around the metr -area, according to a local non-profit public health group.

The group DanceSafe promotes health and safety within the nightlife and electronic music communities along the Front Range.

The organization’s executive director said at least one person overdosed on fentanyl last week after ingesting it thinking it was cocaine.

DanceSafe sent out an urgent public service announcement over Instagram after working with chemical and substance labs in Denver.

Lab techs and group members confirmed fentanyl was indeed discovered in a metro-area man’s cocaine after they tested it.

In 2020, more than 500 people died in Colorado as a result of fentanyl-associated overdoses.

In the Denver-area, we typically see reports of fentanyl popping up in knock-off opioids and benzodiazepines, not usually a stimulant like cocaine.

”We send out a lot of these fentanyl test strips that we use for screening drugs to see if they have fentanyl in them, and we do, we get a lot of emails from people saying, ‘Hey, I got this baggy I thought was cocaine and I tested it and it had fentanyl in it, so I threw it away and you guys saved my life’ — that’s a very, very normal email as part of my daily work flow now,” said Mitchell Gomez, Executive Director of Dance Safe Colorado.

When it comes to pure cocaine not laced with fentanyl, Colorado experienced 219 overdose deaths in 2020 — which was up from 135 deaths in 2019.

As a nonprofit, DanceSafe provides free drug testing kits at shows, concerts and events.

To learn more about the group, click here.

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