Possible fentanyl overdose lands students on spring break in Florida hospitals

Fentanyl-laced pills add to spike in overdoses

Wilton Manors, Florida — Several students on spring break overdosed on what appeared to be cocaine laced with fentanyl and were hospitalized in Fort Lauderdale Thursday, CBS Miami reported. It happened at an Airbnb vacation house.

Four went into cardiac arrest after ingesting the drug before two friends tried to help by performing CPR. That's when they were also exposed to the drug, the station said.

Four of the students involved — cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point — were taken to the hospital, West Point public affairs said. One was a football player there.

A suspect has been arrested, the Wilton Manors Police Department announced Saturday.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Gollan said the incident "brings great concern that there could be other ODs over the next couple of days. Obviously if there's a bad batch, it's not isolated just to one buyer. It normally goes to everyone that purchases that same substance from whoever they got it from."

Fentanyl is an unpredictable and powerful synthetic painkiller blamed for driving an increase in fatal drug overdoses. It's 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and used to treat severe pain, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. It also slows a person's breathing and heart rate.

One neighbor observed to CBS Miami, "They seem like good kids, typical college kids. Rowdy in the pool, but they don't deserve this."

Editor's Note: This story has been updated.


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