Three people have been arrested in Finland on suspicion of trafficking an extremely strong narcotic that has killed two people in Kuopio. Police in North Savo have seized a quantity of fentanyl, which is dozens of times stronger than heroine, and last week claimed the lives of two young adults in the central Finnish city.
According to local daily newspaper Savon Sanomat, a 22 year-old man died from an overdose of the drug in the city last week. A further two were taken to hospital but only one could be saved.
Police say they have established the source of the narcotic but do not know how the fentanyl patches ended up in the hands of street dealers. Two Kuopio residents, aged 33 and 43, are currently remanded in custody on suspicion of aggravated drug crime. A third person has already been released from jail.
Fentanyl is often used as an aesthetic or cancer treatment as it is about 100 times stronger than hospital morphine. An overdose of the drug can quickly shut down the body’s respiratory system.
As fentanyl is so strong, users will generally wear a transdermal patch allowing for slower uptake. According to Helsingin Sanomat, in the case of at least one of the Kuopio deaths, the drug was extracted from the patch and taken intravenously.