FORT LEE, New Jersey – Tragedy struck a motel in Fort Lee, New Jersey on Tuesday when two people died and three more were hospitalized from an apparent group drug overdose involving the synthetic opioid fentanyl, authorities said.
Officers responded around 1:41 p.m. to a medical emergency call at the Skyview Motel located on Bergen Boulevard (Route 46). “Five people were found in and out of (consciousness) and experiencing symptoms consistent with an overdose,” the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
Police administered the overdose reversal drug naloxone at the scene. Two victims were later pronounced dead inside a rented motel room. The other three were rushed to a local hospital for treatment.
Prosecutor Mark Musella said his office and Fort Lee police are investigating to confirm the substances involved. The names and ages of the victims were not released, nor was any indication they knew each other.
Fentanyl Drives Growing Drug Epidemic
The tragic incident comes amid a deadly fentanyl epidemic sweeping New York City and the nation. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid up to 50 times more potent than heroin. Drug dealers mix fentanyl with other narcotics to create a stronger high, often with fatal consequences.
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“Fentanyl is the most significant threat to our public health and our public safety. It’s poison…This is just the tip of the iceberg. Every day we have more seizures.” – Special Agent Frank Tarentino, DEA
Fentanyl has exacerbated New York’s ongoing drug crisis. The opioid is now detected in 80% of overdose deaths, per the city’s Department of Health. Several infants have even died this year after exposure at home or in daycares.
Controversial “Safety” Tips for Fentanyl Use
In 2022, New York officials sparked controversy with a public transit campaign offering “safety tips” for fentanyl use. Critics called the ads irresponsible and counterproductive.
Prosecutors are still working to confirm the substances involved in Tuesday’s motel overdoses. With fentanyl poisoning causing rising deaths across the region, authorities continue warning the public of its extreme dangers.
- Call 911, 988 or (800)-942-6906
- Text “WELL” to 65173
- Visit NYC Well