Overdose deaths across the nation related to fentanyl, a powerful prescription pain-killer that has entered the illegal drug supply, seem to be slowing, says White House drug czar John Walters, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “We’ve seen a decline in the number of deaths. I won’t say it’s definitely over, but it looks like this fight is declining,” said Walters, who was in Chicago for a forum on teen drug use and technology.
Fatal overdoses from heroin or cocaine laced with fentanyl have been reported in eight states. Fentanyl, hundreds of times stronger than morphine and heroin, can kill in an instant. Chicago police said deaths had slowed since June, when local and federal authorities busted up a street-gang drug operation at a housing project. An investigation into a Mexican lab suspected of manufacturing fentanyl is continuing, Walters said.