Two arrested over importation of toxic drug fentanyl, SA

A man and woman were arrested yesterday following an investigation into the importation of the drug fentanyl in the Yorke Peninsula, according to SA Police.

Police will allege that a 31-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman were arrested after they collected a package which contained approximately three grams of the highly toxic drug from the post office at Port Vincent. It is believed that the fentanyl was sourced from overseas.

These arrests and seizure of the fentanyl drug is part of an ongoing investigation.

The man and woman, both from St Vincent, were charged with trafficking in a commercial quantity of a controlled drug and appeared in the Port Pirie Magistrates Court yesterday. They have been remanded in custody.

Police warn highly toxic drugs such as fentanyl are finding their way into the Australian illicit drug market. Fentanyl is a fast acting, highly potent synthetic opioid reported to be between 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It is highly toxic and an overdose can lead to disorientation, respiratory problems, unconsciousness and death.

There have been a number of deaths in South Australia, interstate and overseas suspected to be linked to the drug. Traditionally, fentanyl is used as a pain-relief drug in the treatment of severe chronic pain associated with surgery or cancer. It is a commonly prescribed pharmaceutical analgesic that is safe to use when prescribed by a medical practitioner.

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Crameri of the Serious and Organised Crime Branch says, “Police once again warn that fentanyl is so toxic that it not only places drug dealers and users at serious harm, but carries a significant risk to friends and family who may accidentally come into contact with it. Investigating police also face the genuine risk of accidental exposure and overdose.”

Police remain extremely concerned about the emerging use of fentanyl which can be absorbed through skin contact, inhalation or ingestion. Contact with a very small amount of fentanyl carries a significant risk of accidental opioid overdose. Police want to remind the public that any suspected opioid overdose requires urgent medical assistance.

18/C19926 & 18/C19918

drug arrest

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