2 men — one a police officer —overdose on fentanyl mistaken for cocaine


ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KTVI) -– A Missouri police officer has been identified as one of two men who overdosed on fentanyl they thought was cocaine, authorities said.

Investigators responded to a report of an overdose on Sunday morning and found the men in a car in St. Charles, Missouri.

Police said in a statement that they were “notified that a police officer with this department was allegedly involved in inappropriate activity while in the City of St. Charles.”

Court records reveal one of the men reported buying the drug from a man in the parking lot of a casino. Police said, “No other information can be provided at this time.”

The police department said the officer, who was not named, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Art Deno, who helps people find recovery from addiction, said the overdose problem is worse than ever.

“Everything is laced out there now. Fentanyl is the number one drug that everything is laced with,” said Deno, whose 19-year-old son, Austin, died in 2016 when he thought he was taking a form of Xanax.

Deno said more people are seeking help in the pandemic, with isolation being the biggest issue.

“It’s getting worse out there from the COVID, and we knew this was going to be a bad summer when this hit, because everything this COVID is making us do is not what we want people in active addiction doing,” he said. “When you’re in active addiction, you’re powerless to the disease out there. They don’t even care about that. They’re not thinking about dying, they’re thinking about how can I get my next fix.”

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