Seattle-area public health officials are warning cocaine users about two recent deaths believed to have been caused by a tainted batch of cocaine.
Public Health Seattle King County says the King County Medical Examiner's office conducted autopsies on two women last week. The women are believed to have snorted cocaine that came from the same batch.
The preliminary findings are that the women died after snorting cocaine that had been laced with acetylfentanyl. Health officials say acetylfentantyl is made in black market labs and is different from the prescription painkiller fentanyl. It's stronger. And they say it's also five times stronger than heroin.
Officials are advising cocaine users to avoid using cocaine altogether. Public Health says before the recent deaths, the last known death from acetyfentanyl in King County happened in 2015.
Officials say they're trying to determine where the drug came from and whether other drugs played a role. They also say the anti overdose drug naloxone might be effective against the tainted batch of cocaine but higher doses might be needed compared to the dosage for someone who has had a heroin overdose.