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One person was arrested after West Point cadets on spring break overdosed on fentanyl

West Point cadets walk on campus at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.
Mel Evans
West Point cadets walk on campus at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

One person was arrested Saturday in connection with an incident involving several people, including cadets from the West Point military academy, overdosing on fentanyl on Thursday in Wilton Manors, Fla., police said.

Wilton Manors Police Department officers responded to a call Thursday evening where six males were "feeling the effects of a drug overdose," officials said. All six were transferred to nearby hospitals for care, and later a seventh female patient was later transported to a hospital after feeling sick.

West Point says five cadets were involved with the incident, and two cadets remain hospitalized. It is not clear if the individual arrested is one of the cadets.

"The U.S. Military Academy is aware of the situation involving West Point cadets, which occurred Thursday night in Wilton Manors, FL. The incident is currently under investigation and no other details are available at this time," a spokesperson for West Point told NPR.

The patients were on spring break and staying at a vacation rental home, Wilton Manors police officials said in a statement.

They said the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Hazmat Team tested the powdery substance found at the scene and found it was laced with fentanyl. Reports indicate that police believe the powdery substance was cocaine.

"This incident serves as a stark reminder to all, especially those visiting for Spring Break, of the deadly impacts of Fentanyl. This synthetic opioid continues to have detrimental impacts on many communities, and our agency remains committed to drug prevention and intervention initiatives," the statement said.

The incident is still under investigation, they added.

Drug overdose deaths have broken records in recent years. The increase has been largely driven by an increase in fentanyl overdoses.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Deepa Shivaram
Deepa Shivaram is a multi-platform political reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.