Steamboat woman arrested, charged with distributing heroin
January 19, 2019
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – A Steamboat Springs woman was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Stephanie Dye has been charged with distributing fentanyl, a schedule II controlled substance, and black tar heroin, a schedule I controlled substance, to at least one local man.
The man overdosed in November of last year after injecting a mixture of heroin and fentanyl that Dye allegedly provided. This was the second time that the man overdosed from fentanyl Dye had given him, according to the arrest affidavit.
This arrest comes amid a nationwide opioid epidemic. Since 2013, illegally manufactured fentanyl has been linked to a growing number of overdoses. In 2017, the odds of dying from an opioid overdose in the U.S. surpassed the odds of dying in a car accident.
Steamboat Springs Police Department officers responded to an overdose call at Dye’s home on Nov. 12. Officers were able to successfully inject the man with Narcan, a drug that reverses the effects of narcotics. While in the house, officers noticed several needles in Dye’s bathroom.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Doctors may prescribe it to treat pain, but most overdose deaths involve illegally produced fentanyl.
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The drug is often mixed with heroin but has been increasingly cut with other illicit substances like cocaine to increase its euphoric effects, according to the CDC.
Dye admitted to using fentanyl and heroin in the past. She said she would mix the drugs using a spoon disinfected with alcohol. A combination of fentanyl and heroin mixed by Dye was involved in the November overdose case that sent a man to the emergency room.
The same man overdosed on fentanyl in April of 2017 using fentanyl that Dye had allegedly bought. She said that was the first time the two had used the drug together since meeting at a rehab program several years ago.
Dye said she bought the fentanyl — colloquially known as China White — through an online dealer, and the drugs arrived in the mail.
Overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl have spiked in recent years. The most recent data from the CDC shows a 47 percent increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids from 2016 to 2017.
Colorado saw a 53.8 percent increase during that same time period. About 28,400 people died from such overdoses in 2017. Colorado accounted for 112 of those deaths.