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DEA finds lab making new opioid-laced spice in Phoenix area

PHOENIX — During a recent bust in the Phoenix area, the Drug Enforcement Agency said it found a lab making a first-of-its-kind drug.

“We can confirm that this is the first spice-laced-with-fentanyl laboratory that we have seen as DEA across the country,” Erica Curry with the DEA in Arizona said.

Fentanyl is a highly-addictive opioid that is typically used to treat pain, while spice is a synthetic drug that mimics some of the effects of cannabis.

“It’s the first, we believe, of its kind and, quite frankly, it’s really scary,” she said.

Curry said the combination of the two could be deadly.

“Imagine a few grains of table salt — two or three at the most,” she said. “That much fentanyl can be lethal.”

Earlier this year, legendary musician Prince died from an overdose of fentanyl.

More than 700 fentanyl-related overdoses were reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration in late 2013 and 2014.

The DEA said it has seen heroin laced with fentanyl before, but never spice.

Curry said she could not disclose more details about the drug lab bust because it is still under investigation, but she said the agency wanted the community to be aware of what it found.

“We did want to get the community aware and even addicts aware that the spice that they have may be laced with fentanyl,” she said. “And the next time they use it could be their last.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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