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5 fentanyl overdoses in 36 hours in Boulder prompts a warning from police

Police warned of a possible tainted or new strain of fentanyl after responding to five overdoses in 36 hours.

BOULDER, Colo. — Police in Boulder responded to five fentanyl overdoses in 36 hours – and they're worried about a possible tainted strain or new type of the fentanyl making its way around the city. 

"It's not unusual for us to see an overdose here or there," said Commander Barry Hartkopp of the Boulder Police Department.  

Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs like cocaine – so users don't always know what they're getting when they use the drug. 

First responders were able to reverse most of the overdoses with Narcan, or naloxone, said police. Narcan is a life-saving drug used to reverse the effects of opioids.

The first overdose police responded to occurred on Tuesday, April 11 with a male not breathing or conscious. Police were able to revive the man, who was taken to the hospital. On Wednesday, officers responded to 13th Street and Canyon Boulevard for a man reported not breathing and not conscious. A dose of Narcan was administered to the man before police arrived – an officer gave the man another dose of Narcan and he began breathing. 

A third overdose happened 20 minutes after this call at an apartment where a person was believed to have taken fentanyl. 

Wednesday, two overdoses were reported – one at noon and the other at 3 p.m. Police administered Narcan in both cases.

This year, police have responded to 25 overdoses but believe there have likely been more that have gone unreported. 

Credit: Boulder Police
A screen shot from a Boulder police officer's body cam shows them responding to a fentanyl overdose with Narcan.

Police are asking for any information related to these overdoses or who might be supplying the drug to call Boulder Police Dispatch at 303-441-3333. 



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