Police are warning residents to be on the lookout for suspicious spiked drinks, having received at least three reports since March of an individual suspected of drinking or swallowing a substance suspected to be laced with fentanyl.
Since March 23, the Fairfax County Police Department has received reports of “spiked drinks” at three locations in the county. One man, who had just woken up, woke up with an unwanted spoonful of heroin in his throat, a combination of heroin and fentanyl, according to a department press release. The spoon from which he found the substance was later tested positive for fentanyl.
Police said the powder, which can be fatal, first showed up in Prince William County on March 26. In that case, the drug appeared in a frozen yogurt parlor, the Metropolitan Police Department reported.
“Two other men had similar incidents, however they have not required hospitalization,” MPD said on its Facebook page.
In the case of the Fairfax County incident, the man was treated and released from a local hospital.
According to Fairfax County police, the substances are suspected to be made in a “blender press” or “washboard,” generally produced with a device that looks like a mixing bowl or mortar and pestle. They aren’t often found in city limits, since authorities said it’s too difficult to transport the powder over cities’ wide-open borders.
“They are often found in isolated areas and are typically in soup lines or prison food programs, then they are given out over the counter,” a Fairfax County police spokesperson said.
Police advise residents who notice the symptoms of the “spiked drinks” or strange substances “to report this to authorities immediately.”
Fairfax County police tweeted on Thursday that there had been four similar incidents, and encouraged residents to call police with any tips or information about the incidents. No other jurisdictions have reported similar instances.