The state attorney said that, considering fentanyl’s potency, Alton could easily have overdosed after touching a towel or surface that the drug was on.
Alton’s neighborhood, Overtown, has been especially hard hit by opioids, with more people dying last year from overdoses – nearly 300 from fentanyl or fentanyl-variant drugs – than homicides, according to the Miami Herald.
The drug is so powerful – 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control – that accidental overdoses are not uncommon.
Pete Gomez, an assistant fire rescue chief in Miami, said Overtown bears obvious signs of the depth of the crisis, with some streets littered with discarded needles.
Authorities are asking anyone who knows how Alton might have come in contact with the opioids to reach out to police.