🔴 Five women who work at an NJ mall overdosed on fentanyl in the parking garage

🔴 Four of the women were hospitalized, one refused

🔴 Police did not disclose how the women were exposed

HACKENSACK — Five women who work at the Shops at Riverside shopping mall were revived in the parking garage Wednesday night after overdosing on fentanyl.

Hackensack Police Captain Michael Antista said the women, between the ages of 29 and 41, were unconscious when first responders arrived at the mall's lower garage off Route 4 and immediately used Naloxone (Narcan) to revive them.

Antista did not disclose how they were exposed or their employer at the mall.

“I want to assure the community that we are already in the process of thoroughly investigating this matter to find the source of this dangerous substance, and will do everything within our power to prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law,” Antista said in a statement.

Good Samaritan helps save lives

Video shows police focused on one vehicle which had several $20 bills visible on the front seat.

A man who also works at the mall told NBC 4 New York he used an automated external defibrillator (AED) kit on one of three women he saw lying on the ground. The lips and hands of one of the women were turning blue.

Four of the women were hospitalized while one refused to be transported, according to Antista.

Fentanyl is a highly addictive opioid that has been behind an increase in deaths of heroin and cocaine users. The drug has been described as 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin.

People can be unaware they have been exposed as it is commonly mixed with drugs and can be made to look like other opioids, according to the CDC. It can also be in a liquid form and simulate nasal sprays, eye drops, dropped onto paper or small candles.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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