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Bay County seeing rise in overdose deaths possibly from mysterious new narcotic

The News Herald staff report
The News Herald

PANAMA CITY — The Bay County Sheriff’s Office warned residents on Tuesday about a potentially new, powerful narcotic that is possibly causing a rise in accidental deaths and overdoses.

According to a sheriff’s office press release, the currently unknown substance, even when taken by habitual drug abusers in amounts similar to their typical narcotic doses, has caused accidental overdose deaths.

“The BCSO is experiencing an increase in the incidents of accidental overdose deaths,” the press release states. “BSCO Narcotics investigators have spoken with agencies in surrounding counties and other law enforcement agencies in Bay County and learned they are all seeing an increase in accidental overdoses as well.”

The press release states the latest case of an accidental overdose with the unknown narcotic happened on Monday.

Although the victim was a known drug user, it remains unclear what illegal narcotic resulted in the accidental overdose, the press release states. Samples of the narcotic, which was in powder form in the latest case, were sent to a lab for testing.