It’s like playing Russian roulette. A deadly combination of heroin spiked with fentanyl is being sold on the streets of Pueblo.
County Coroner Brian Cotter tells News 5 three people have died from fentanyl related overdose deaths this year. There were two such deaths in all of 2017.
It’s come to the point where patients who are seeking help now self-report about using these drugs and they’re scared that they can’t stop.
"Whenever they’re out on the street they don’t know what it is going to send them right over the edge," said Dianne Hayhurst-Vigil, the Substance Abuse Disorder Director at Crossroads Turning Points.
Fentanyl is dangerous because it only takes a small amount to be deadly. Hayhurst-Vigil said the withdrawal symptoms can look like the flu. Addicts will run a fever, sweat a lot, have diarrhea and will likely hallucinate.
"They’re really struggling in detox and withdrawing."
Standard drug tests don’t usually pick it fentanyl use and specialized tests that do cost a $100 or more. That’s more money than most patients can afford.
Leroy Lucero, president and CEO of Crossroads Turning Points is encouraging addicts in the community to be open about their drug use when speaking with counselors.
"In their mind, if I say I’m on X Y Z, they might call the cops," Lucero said. "They tend to forget that what happens here, stays here."
He hopes that state and federal lawmakers can come up with money for assistance programs that help pay for the better drug tests.
In the meantime, they’re reaching out through the news media to try catch people’s attention and turn them away from these dangerous drugs before its too late.
"When a client is motivated and hears your newscast and hears this information, I’m hoping that they get the message of saying, look, the one person you need to be honest with it is the person you contact for help."
Contact Crossroads Turning Points through their website www.crossroadstp.org or by calling at (719) 546-6666.