Mass Overdose in California Kills 1, Injures 12

1 dead, 4 in critical condition at mass overdose in California house

One person is dead and a dozen others were rushed to the hospital after an apparent mass fentanyl overdose in Chico, California, on Saturday morning. "That is yet to be confirmed, but we do anticipate confirmation in the coming days", O'Brien said.

Police did not provide many details of the person who died, but said he was an adult male who died on the scene. A total of 12 people were taken to the hospital.

Chico Fire Department Chief Steven Standridge said the officers were "potentially exposed" to the drug, a synthetic opioid often imported on the black market from China and Mexico to be used as a filler in heroin and other street narcotics. Responding officers performed CPR at the scene and provided six victims with doses of naloxone, medicine that can treat narcotic overdoses in emergency situations.

A relationship between the victims has not been established, though police say they all knew each other to some extent. Authorities suspect the overdoses were caused by ingestion of the risky drug and a separate substance that is yet to be determined.

Two responding officers were also treated at the hospital after complaining of feeling "some effects" but they were released and are said to be in "good condition".

According to The Bee, O'Brien says Chico officers began carrying naloxone (the only anti-dote to a fentanyl overdose) in 2018 but, until recently, it has been used to reverse heroin overdoses.

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"The residence where this incident occurred is being treated as a hazmat site", he said.

'The amount of fentanyl - these substances are extraordinarily risky and it takes a very minute amount to cause [life-threatening] conditions, ' O'Brien said.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-to-100 times stronger than morphine, according to the US
Drug Enforcement Administration.

"'That is changing unfortunately, and now we've had this mass casualty incident... likely to have been cause by fentanyl".

In November, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that fentanyl was behind the increase of drug overdose deaths between 2016 and 2017.

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