A 12-year-old girl in Tarrant County has died from a fentanyl overdose, the medical examiner’s office ruled Friday.
The 12-year-old girl, identified as Ellianna Martinez, was from Richland Hills. She was found dead at a home on Jennifer Drive on May 31, KWTX reported.
The medical examiner’s office didn’t release the manner of death and Richland Hills Police Captain Sheena McEachran told local reporters that the case is still under investigation and no additional information will be released.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a drug prescribed to treat severe pain. The narcotic has a high risk for addiction dependence, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The drug is also 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine and can affect breathing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that Fentanyl is prescribed in the form of transdermal patches or lozenges and can be diverted for misuse and abuse in the United States. However, most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to illegally made fentanyl.
It is sold through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine as a combination product—with or without the user’s knowledge—to increase its euphoric effects, the CDC says.
It further says that rates of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, increased over 16% from 2018 to 2019. Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids were nearly 12 times higher in 2019 than in 2013. More than 36,000 people died from overdoses involving synthetic opioids in 2019, according to CDC data.
The latest provisional drug overdose death counts through May 2020 suggest an acceleration of overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.
Ellianna is one of the youngest who died of fentanyl in Tarrant County, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Police have not made any arrests, according to McEachran.