One person has died and four are in critical condition after a mass drug overdose at a house in Chico, Calif. A total of 12 people were taken to the hospital.
Police say they suspect the mass overdose was caused by ingestion of the opiate fentanyl in combination with another substance.
“Upon arrival, Chico police officers found multiple individuals in what appeared to be life-threatening, overdose conditions,” Chico Police Chief Michael O’Brien told reporters. “Officers began to both administer CPR and also naloxone to those individuals,” he said.
“Unfortunately one male individual was pronounced dead at the scene,” O’Brien said, adding that the residence where the overdose occurred is being treated as a hazmat site.
“Every indication is that this mass overdose incident was caused from the ingestion of some form of fentanyl in combination with another substance. That is yet to be confirmed, but we do anticipate confirmation in the coming days,” O’Brien said.
The Chico Enterprise-Record reports that all of the people hospitalized were over the age of 18, and most appeared to be in their 20s.
Fentanyl is now the drug most frequently involved in overdose deaths in the U.S., according to figures released in December by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A synthetic opioid pain reliever, the drug is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.