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Vegas-area health officials report spike in fentanyl deaths

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE
                                An arrangement of fentanyl test strips are seen in a file photo. Since 2018, more than 400 Clark County residents died from fentanyl, including 193 last year and 72 in 2019, the district reported.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

    An arrangement of fentanyl test strips are seen in a file photo. Since 2018, more than 400 Clark County residents died from fentanyl, including 193 last year and 72 in 2019, the district reported.

LAS VEGAS >> Health officials in Las Vegas are reporting a spike in deaths related to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, including five overdoses in a 24-hour period last Thursday.

The Southern Nevada Health District today repeated a warning first issued in April and said the 92 fentanyl overdose deaths it has seen from January to May represented a 39% increase over the 66 deaths in the first five months of 2020.

Since 2018, more than 400 Clark County residents died from fentanyl, including 193 last year and 72 in 2019, the district reported.

Dr. Fermin Leguen, district health officer, said the agency is offering Naloxone, a fentanyl overdose reversal drug, for free at the main public health center pharmacy on Decatur Boulevard in Las Vegas.

Nevada also maintains a state Opioid Response Naloxone Finder.

The district called fentanyl highly potent and far stronger than morphine. It noted that it can be mixed with other illicit substances to look like heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine.

It is commonly pressed into counterfeit pills and sold as Percocet, Xanax, or Oxycodone, the district said.

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