A new drug has found its way to the streets of Peoria and could quickly kill unaware users.
It’s happened three times this week and Peoria police worry more deaths are to follow if users do not heed their warning.
“If I have a member of my family addicted to heroin, opioid or cocaine, I need to know this,” said Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell.
Mitchell said police are discovering cases where users are buying cocaine that is, instead, a more deadly derivative of fentanyl. The two look almost identical.
Two victims were in a house on South Western Avenue, another on Moss Avenue. The victim on Moss took regular fentanyl. The two on South Western used the derivative.
These are the first cases in which the extremely potent form of fentanyl were discovered in Peoria.
“It changes the game a lot for people who do not expect to have that in their, either recreational drug, or drug that they are dependent upon,” Mitchell said.
Police are now racing to stop the deadly derivative before it takes the lives of more users.
“So for family members, put pressure on (users) and get them out. Because if not, they could be a number,” Mitchell said.
Police Cpt. Mike Mushinsky said the drug has hit Peoria quickly.
“It is rare in the Midwest,” Mushinsky said. “It is here and we have experienced it sooner than we normally would.”
Multiple task forces are assigned to stopping it.
Authorities were able to save a man from overdosing on the drug in the 1800 block of West Kettelle St. Wednesday night.
“It took six doses of Narcan to revive him and he’s still in extremely critical condition,” Mushinsky said.
Mushinsky worries others will not be so lucky.