BY CLAIRE RUSH
Published 5:46 PM, May 15, 2023
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A series of suspected drug overdoses left at least eight people dead over the weekend in Portland, Oregon, according to the city’s police bureau.
Six of the deaths were likely related to fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid. Several of those who died believed they were using cocaine, when it was actually fentanyl or a mix of the two substances, the city’s police bureau said in a news release.
“Users are warned that there may be a batch of purported cocaine circulating on the street that is particularly dangerous to use,” the release said.
The deaths occurred between early Friday morning and late Saturday afternoon. They’re being investigated by the Portland Police Bureau’s narcotics and organized crime unit.
Like many states around the country, Oregon in recent years has grappled with a surge in opioid overdose deaths fueled by fentanyl, a highly addictive and potentially lethal drug.