Police in Phoenix on Saturday said that a family who purchased a stuffed toy at a local thrift store called 911 after finding bags stuffed with thousands of pills believed to be made from fentanyl inside.
In a tweet, the Phoenix Police Department warned its followers to "inspect all opened and used items" and said that over 5,000 pills had been discovered in the green, apparently unbranded "glow worm" toy purchased by the family.
"Parents purchased a glow worm at a thrift store in El Mirage for their daughter and found a sandwich bag with over 5,000 pills believed to be fentanyl inside," the department tweeted.
Parents purchased a glow worm at a thrift store in El Mirage for their daughter and found a sandwich bag with over 5,000 pills believed to be fentanyl inside. They called #phoenixpolice and gave the dangerous drugs to officers. Remember to inspect all opened and used items. pic.twitter.com/hRLEuZpXfS— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) February 21, 2021
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is a major factor behind the U.S. opioid crisis due to its extreme potency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in 2018 that more Americans were dying from accidental overdoses related to fentanyl than from any other drug.
In December, the CDC said that drug overdoses in the 12-month period ending in May 2020 accounted for the highest ever number of deaths from drug overdoses in such a span of time, primarily attributed to a rise in fentanyl overdoses.