Fentanyl Confirmed in Michael Tata's Death - 8 News NOW

Fentanyl Confirmed in Michael Tata's Death

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(Aug. 17) -- Toxicology tests confirm that Michael Tata died from a combination of the painkiller fentanyl and alcohol. The popular casino executive was found dead at his home in Henderson in July.

It's now believed that the powerful opium-based painkiller, fentanyl, is at least partly to blame. The coroner says Tata's death was accidental. But UMC clinical pharmacist Don Frisch says that fentanyl can turn deadly if it's used used recreationally, especially if alcohol is added to the mix:

"But when used in combination with other respiratory depressants, like alcohol or valium, you can actually have an enhanced effect on the respiratory system -- leading to death," Frisch said.

Fentanyl is used for the most severe types of pain, especially cancer. But it's recreational use has been steadily increasing.

According to police reports, Tata had consumed both vodka and a stick of fentanyl shortly before his death. Again, they say it was an accidental death.

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