A suburban community mourns the deaths of two young men from a potential drug overdose, with experts saying an influx of counterfeit and counterfeit drugs into the United States has left a trail of devastation in its wake.
The pair were both graduates of Fenwick High School on the outskirts of Oak Park. Both were found dead by police in a downtown Chicago apartment on September 19 when authorities were called to the North Wells 100 block building for a welfare check.
Ryan Joseph Masi, 25, and Michael Beaudin, 24, were both found unconscious inside the apartment, and both were pronounced dead from a possible drug overdose.
A third man was taken to an area hospital, police said.
While the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to identify the exact cause of death, pending toxicology reports, law enforcement officials say the drug paraphernalia was found on them. premises.
Federal law enforcement officials say there has been an increase in overdose deaths in the United States in recent months, both from drugs containing fentanyl and counterfeit fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is a very potent synthetic drug that is causing an overdose death crisis in the United States,” DEA Special Agent Robert Bell said.
The DEA has launched a public safety campaign called “One Pill Can Kill,” which aims to educate the public that a lethal dose of fentanyl can be extremely low, as little as two milligrams.
Seizures of counterfeit fentanyl are underway at the US-Mexico border, and federal agents are doing their best to stem the tide.
“You are seeing an influx of this drug into America, and it is hurting communities on the left and on the right,” said Steven Bansbach of US Customs and Border Protection.