Spring Break Goes Badly for West Point Cadets

7 people were hospitalized in Fort Lauderdale after ODing on powdery substance laced with fentanyl
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2022 10:00 AM CST
West Point Cadets OD on Fentanyl During Spring Break
Stock photo of West Point.   (Getty Images/nancykennedy)

(Newser) – Spring break in Fort Lauderdale didn't end well for one group this week, with seven people hospitalized after ODing on fentanyl, several of them confirmed to be West Point cadets. Police say that Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue responded to a call at a vacation rental home in Wilton Manors around 5pm on Thursday, where six male college students were found to be suffering overdose symptoms and rushed to area hospitals, reports CNN. A woman was also said to be hospitalized with OD symptoms. Stephen Gollan, the fire department's battalion chief, says that when Wilton Manors cops arrived on the scene, two bystanders were administering CPR to two unconscious men on the lawn, while two more unconscious men were inside the house, per the New York Times.

The Wilton Manors PD says that a hazmat team determined a powdery substance found at the scene was laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl. In addition to the four unconscious men, the two bystanders were also hospitalized after going into respiratory arrest after giving mouth-to-mouth to the other men, exposing themselves to the fentanyl. Gollan says that first responders administered the anti-OD medication Narcan to the sickened individuals, then took them to area hospitals. As of Friday night, three men had been released, one remained hospitalized in stable condition, and two are in critical condition and on ventilators, per Gollan. It's not clear what condition the woman is in.

A spokesperson for the US Military Academy at West Point has confirmed that some of the sickened individuals are cadets—CNN puts the number at six, the Times at five—and that the academy is now conducting an investigation. The academy notes that one of the injured cadets is on its football team, per ABC News. Meanwhile, authorities in Broward County say they've made an arrest in the case. "This incident serves as a stark reminder to all, especially those visiting for spring break, of the deadly impacts of fentanyl," notes a Wilton Manors police release, per CNN. The police department also posted a warning on fentanyl—as well as other illicit drugs, and the dangers of mixing drugs with alcohol and other drugs—on Twitter. (Read more West Point stories.)

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