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Presence of fentanyl confirmed in four July overdose deaths

Fentanyl and carfentanil, both drugs hundreds of times more powerful than heroin, were suspected as the possible causes of a rash of overdose deaths in Boyle County in July.

Now, the Boyle County Coroner’s Office has released documents confirming that at least four of five deaths caused in Boyle County by drug overdoses in July were caused by drugs laced with fentanyl.

The coroner’s office is still investigating at least one and possibly three more drug-related deaths from the time period of July 4-21, according to information from Boyle County Coroner Don Hamner.

Those who died from fentanyl overdoses include:

• a 30-year-old male waiter from Danville, who tested positive for marijuana, fentanyl and morphine;

• a 27-year-old male painter from Danville,  who tested positive for marijuana and fentanyl; and

• a 32-year-old mother of three from Danville, who tested positive for benzoylecgonine, cocaine, fentanyl and hydrocodone.

A fourth overdose death was not fentanyl-related. A 50-year-old man from Danville died from an overdose of diazepam, nordiazepam, morphine, codeine, oxycodone and ethanol.

Not including the ongoing investigations, there have been 10 drug overdose deaths in Boyle County from January through July, according to a list provided by Hamner. 

There was one confirmed death in January involving morphine; one in February involving heroin and benzodiazepines; one in March involving methamphetamine; one in May involving methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, marijuana and heroin; and one in June involving benzodiazepines, marijuana and ethanol.

Hamner did not provide statistics for drug-related death investigations since July. He said he doesn’t know how many investigations into other possible drug overdoses he is currently handling.