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Woman Arrested in Connecticut on Charges of Selling Fentanyl Patches

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Norwalk, CTThe Duragesic side effects of Fentanyl pain patches are well known, with addiction being one of the major concerns.

Recently, a homeless woman was arrested in Connecticut after she allegedly sold such patches to an undercover police officer four times in the span of a few weeks, according to the Stamford Advocate.

The news source reports that 25-year-old Elizabeth Torres was charged with five counts of illegal distribution of narcotics and was arraigned at state Superior Court in Norwalk, Connecticut, upon being arrested.

Warrants found in the woman's court files suggest that police learned that she was selling the Fentanyl patches in late May, then found a certified officer to call her and order some of the patches.

On four separate occasions, Torres allegedly answered the undercover officer's phone calls or texts to arrange a meeting, where she then sold him patches for between $80 and $90 a piece. During their final meeting, Torres is accused of selling the officer five Oxycontin pills for $450, according to the woman's arrest warrant.

Fentanyl pain patches, which are approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and typically used to manage chronic pain, have been linked to a number of deaths around the country.

Additionally, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a recall for 18 lots of the patches manufactured for Actavis by Corium International in October 2010, according to the federal agency's Web site. The patches were recalled because they reportedly released their active ingredient faster than approved, which can cause a number of adverse events including respiratory depression, excessive sedation and apnea, the FDA said.

Around the country, instances of Fentanyl patches being sold and taken for unapproved uses are rising, as a Michigan couple was recently accused of a scheme to steal the patches from a manufacturer, according to the Grand Rapids Press.

The news source reported that Shelly Ann Wolfsen allegedly stole the patches from the company where she worked and gave them to Nicholas Brian Shook to resell them. The indictment of the couple claimed that Wolfsen's job responsibilities included inspecting patches that had been taken off the production line.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Fentanyl, when mixed with heroin or cocaine, can come with significantly increased dangers, such as unconsciousness, coma and addiction, which can lead to further problems.

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