Police reported a Portland teenager died on Sunday and another died Monday, after both took pills laced with fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. A small amount can be fatal.
The initial investigation by Portland police showed both teens had blue pills in their possession — know as M30s — which they may have thought were oxycontin or Xanax.
The Portland Police Bureau said they released the preliminary information to try to prevent another overdose, as they work to track down the source of the pills. They won’t release further details on either of the deaths.
“The loss of the life of a child is beyond tragic, especially when it is suspected to be through something that is so preventable,” said Acting PPB Chief Mike Frome in a statement. “We will do everything we can to further this investigation, but we also need the community’s assistance in spreading the word that these illegal pills can kill. Even just one pill is lethal.”
Portland Public Schools sent a flyer to families explaining the danger of fentanyl, and reiterated that one pill can kill. Officials say any student who comes forward to talk about substance abuse can get support, without facing disciplinary action.
PPS is also urging parents to talk with their children about the risks of taking pills that aren’t prescribed to them.