Opioid overdoses increase in Cenla, law enforcement investigating fatalities

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 10:48 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office (RPSO) is working closely with the Alexandria Police Department (APD) to investigate 10 fatal overdoses that have occurred since Feb. 1.

On March 11, the APD released information about a recent increase in opioid-related overdoses, some of them fatal. Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital followed shortly after to talk about the recent increase of opioid-related overdoses they’re seeing in their emergency department.

“In the last 2 weeks we’ve seen an increasingly alarming number of overdoses and what we’re seeing is opioid-related overdoses with carfentanil,” said Cabrini’s Administrative Director of Emergency Services, Crystal Mitchell, during a press conference with the RPSO.

At the press conference, RPSO announced that they’ve joined APD in investigating these recent overdose fatalities.

“A couple years ago we had a lot of overdose deaths and we did make some arrests in those,” said RPSO Chief of Staff, Tommy Carnline.

Without going into much detail, Carnline said that law enforcement believes some of these fatalities may have been caused by carfentanil.

Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid, schedule II, used as an elephant tranquilizer. It’s 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

A spokesperson with Acadian Ambulance tells News Channel 5 that Acadian has responded to 38 overdose calls in the Cenla area between Feb. 21 and March 10.

Anyone with information on dealers of carfentanil, fentanyl or other illegal substances is asked to contact local law enforcement.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2021 KALB. All rights reserved.