Fentanyl-Laced Blue Pills Kill Two Portland Teenagers in Two Days

Police said both teenagers overdosed on blue pills known as M30s, which are usually sold as Oxycontin or Xanax but are often counterfeits laced with fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid.

Two students in Portland Public Schools, both teenagers, fatally overdosed on fentanyl in blue pill form over the past two days, according to bulletins issued tonight by the school district and police.

PPS deputy superintendent Cheryl Proctor sent an email shortly after 7 pm on March 7 to families in the district. “I am saddened to report,” she wrote, “that there have been recent deaths related to blue fentanyl-laced pills in the Portland area, including students in our community. These deaths are tragedies.”

Two hours later, the Portland Police Bureau announced two deaths of local teenagers, apparently the same deaths the school district described. PPB said both teenagers overdosed on blue pills known as M30s, which are usually sold as Oxycontin or Xanax but are often counterfeits laced with fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid.

Police said both high school-age teenagers were found dead with blue pills in their possession. The school district released a one-page informational flyer on what such pills look like, and whom to call for help.

“The loss of the life of a child is beyond tragic, especially when it is suspected to be through something that is so preventable,” said Acting Chief Mike Frome in a statement. “We will do everything we can to further this investigation, but we also need the community’s assistance in spreading the word that these illegal pills can kill. Even just one pill is lethal.”

“Sadly, substance abuse and overdoses are common in every community,” Proctor wrote. “These are unfortunate situations, regardless of the circumstances.”

That’s certainly true, but Oregon is especially awash in opioids, and reeling from the resultant deaths. As WW recently reported, an average of five Oregonians a week die from opioid overdoses. The state’s addiction treatment services rank among the most dismal in the nation.