SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Three teenage girls were hospitalized after overdosing on ecstasy pills laced with fentanyl at an apartment in Santa Monica. Two of them are in critical but stable condition, police said.
Santa Monica police and fire personnel were sent to the 2000 block of 20th Street at about 11 p.m. May 25 on "a report of a possible overdose," said Lt. Rudy Flores of the Santa Monica Police Department.
According to LA County Public Health, the teens purchased ‘blue circular tablets,' that was reportedly ecstasy, from a dealer online. They crushed and snorted the tablets and lost consciousness, the health department said in a statement.
Health officials say the pills were contaminated with fentanyl and other yet-to-be-identified psychoactive substances.
The three teens were all rushed to the hospital, two were listed in critical but stable condition and the third was conscious and alert. The teens all required "emergency medical intervention, including naloxone (Narcan) and a breathing tube," health officials said.
"This incident highlights the growing national and local trend of illicit drugs and counterfeit pills being contaminated with illegally manufactured fentanyl and other stimulant contaminants with toxicity impacting multiple organ systems, including the heart and brain, that can lead to life- threatening complications," according the Department of Public Health.
"Fentanyl and methamphetamine-related overdose deaths have increased in Los Angeles County since the pandemic and continue to rise at an alarming rate."
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Health officials urged people to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose, including loss of consciousness, pinpoint pupils, erratic heart rate, muscle spasms and seizures. Residents were also urged to have naloxone handy, which is available through pharmacies, often without a prescription. The county Department of Health Services also offers naloxone at locations available online at laodprevention.org/naloxone.
People were also urged to avoid using drugs from unreliable sources, never use drugs alone, and test drugs using fentanyl test strips.