Six people in St. Paul were hospitalized after suspected drug overdoses early Saturday, according to St. Paul police.
Three separate incidents unfolded over less than three hours, according to police Sgt. Mike Ernster. There were no reported fatalities, he said.
Shortly before 4 a.m., three adults were found unconscious on a front porch on the 800 block of E. 3rd Street. Minutes later, officers were sent to assist the St. Paul Fire Department with two people unconscious in a vehicle at Minnehaha Avenue and Cypress Street. Rescuers broke one of the vehicle's windows to access the occupants.
All five were transported to Regions Hospital. Shortly before 6 a.m., a sixth person was taken to HCMC in Minneapolis after a suspected overdose on the 1700 block of Blair Avenue.
According to police, some of the people who were hospitalized told members of the department's Community Outreach and Stabilization Unit that they used what they believed was cocaine. They may have used narcotics that were mixed with a hazardous substance, such as fentanyl, according to the department.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is used to treat patients with chronic pain. It can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Because it is so potent, fentanyl in its illicit form is sometimes mixed with other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and meth, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
In a Facebook post Saturday evening, St. Paul police advised people to immediately call 911 if they suspect that someone they're with has overdosed. The department also advised administering Narcan, if available, in the event of a suspected opioid overdose.