Fentanyl-laced cocaine sickens 6 on spring break in Florida

Six people overdosed on cocaine laced with fentanyl and were hospitalized Thursday in Fort Lauderdale while on spring break, with at least one person in critical condition, emergency officials said.

In the front yard of the vacation rental home, multiple people were found in cardiac arrest when emergency crews responded to the 911 call, Fort Lauderdale Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Gollan told WPLG-TV.

Golan said two of the people who overdosed were sickened because they tried to give CPR to the initial overdose victims, the broadcaster reported. He said the opioid-overdose-reversing drug naloxone was administered.

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"These are healthy young adults, college students in the prime of their life," Gollan said. "Getting this drug into their system, it’s unknown what the recovery will be on the critical individual."

Fentanyl is an unpredictable and powerful synthetic painkiller blamed for driving an increase in fatal drug overdoses. It’s 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and used to treat severe pain, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. It also slows a person’s breathing and heart rate.

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