By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Investigators say one of the drugs found in George Floyd’s system was fentanyl.

It’s come up during the trial of Derek Chauvin as the attorneys have questioned witnesses.

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Fentanyl, the painkiller that Prince overdosed on in 2016, is an opioid that experts say can be highly addictive.

WCCO spoke with Peter Hayden, Ph.D., founder of Turning Point, an African American treatment provider in north Minneapolis.

“It started to work with patients who was having pain, and extreme pain many of them were having, and so that’s where fentanyl came along. Unfortunately, it made it to the streets,” Hayden said.

Turning Point recently began a partnership with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

(credit: CBS)

“Our goal is to educate and help the people we serve,” Hayden said. “But if you expand it, that means brothers, sisters, mothers, cousins, all these things, and give them a cultural understanding of why they use.”

He calls fentanyl dangerous.

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“The problem is it takes you to a level that you have not experienced, and so therefore you want to experience it again. You never know exactly how much is going to keep you high, or take your life,” Hayden said.

He says it’s often mixed in with other drugs.

“In some cases it mellows you out,” Hayden said. “Sometimes the high is too high and the low is too low.”

He says he’s concerned about the level of fentanyl in the Twin Cities.

“All drugs are readily available, unfortunately,” Hayden said.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation at 1-888-738-4291. That will get you to a recovery expert 24/7.

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Click here to learn more about Turning Point.

Jennifer Mayerle