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Robert De Niro’s grandson could be a victim of fentanyl, mum says

Robert De Niro’s daughter Drena has said her son Leandro De Niro Rodriguez likely died last weekend after taking pills containing fentanyl – a claim which, if true, would make him the last person high profile to die in what authorities say is a drug overdose epidemic that has been fueled by the availability of the highly potent synthetic opioid.

“Someone sold him fentanyl pills that they knew were related but sold them to him anyway,” Drena De Niro posted on Instagram Wednesday, in response to someone asking how her son, 19, died over the weekend, Page Six reported. Drena De Niro spoke out against everyone who illegally sells and buys fentanyl. “My son is gone forever,” she said.

Leandro De Niro Rodriguez, 19, was found dead Sunday in a New York apartment where he was staying. Reports from TMZ and the Daily Mail said authorities were investigating his death as a possible overdose and that drugs and drug paraphernalia were found near his body, according to reports.

It will likely take weeks for authorities to determine if he died of a drug overdose and what drugs were involved. Unfortunately, Drena De Niro’s claim that her son may have unknowingly ingested fentanyl would be consistent with numerous documented drug overdoses involving the opioid.

The drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the relief of severe pain, such as by cancer patients or people with a serious injury. The drug is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.

According to CNN, most opioid overdoses do not involve fentanyl administered in medically appropriate settings. They are due to fentanyl which is sold illegally and which comes from clandestine laboratories.

Because fentanyl is so potent, taking even a small amount can be deadly, said Leana Wen, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. In an interview with CNN, Wen said people might not know they were taking it because drug dealers often mix it with other illicit substances, such as heroin, benzodiazepines, cocaine. , MDMA and methamphetamines.

Wen also said fentanyl could be made into a pill and mixed with other counterfeit pills. “Some people may think they’re taking a less potent opioid like oxycodone, but they’re actually using fentanyl,” she added.

Fentanyl has been implicated in a number of high-profile deaths in recent years, including Prince in 2016, rapper Lil Peep in 2017, rapper Mac Miller in 2018, and “The Wire” actor Michael K. Williams in 2021. Last month, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Coroner’s Office determined that the death of former child actor Adam Rich – who was best known for his work on the 1970s TV show “Eight is Enough” – was due to the effects of fentanyl and ruled his death accidental, the Associated Press reported.

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