DEA: New fentanyl analog detected in overdose deaths in Maricopa County

DEA: New fentanyl analog detected in overdose deaths in Maricopa County
File photo of a DEA agent. (Source: Drug Enforcement Administration)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A new strain of the powerful drug fentanyl has been found in several overdose deaths in Maricopa County.

Official say 11 deaths tested positive for a new analog of the drug called para-fluorofentanyl (pFF) alongside other narcotics like cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine, according to a news release from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Based on research, DEA officials believe this fentanyl analog — which is produced by Mexican drug cartels ― could potentially be more potent than the parent drug, the release stated. Right now, investigators are still trying to identify the local supplier of pFF.

Pima County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Gregory Hess said there have been no overdose deaths in the county attributed to pFF or with trace amounts of this analog. However, DEA officials believe pFF is likely present throughout Arizona, according to the release.

Anyone who wants to leave a tip about pFF in their community can call the DEA at 571-362-5600 or click here.

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