- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - Federal authorities say use of a type of synthetic opioid called “pink” has begun contributing to overdose deaths in the Phoenix area.

Special Agent In Charge Douglas Coleman of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says the agency is targeting dealers who supplied the drugs to overdose victims.

According to Coleman, there have been dozens of deaths across the country attributed to the drugs but none were previously known to have occurred in Arizona before three in 2016.

The DEA says the deaths included a 55-year-old Phoenix man in April, a 25-year-old Mesa man in June and a 24-year-old Phoenix man in August. All were found dead in their homes.

Coleman says the information about the deaths surfaced in a meeting with the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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