Laced heroin causing fatal overdoses in N
On an icy night last month, a man entered a grocery store here, walked past the displays of cake mix and paper towels, and went into the bathroom, where he injected himself with heroin. They believe the man was one of more than 80 across the country who have died in recent weeks after injecting heroin laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate.
Fentanyl is a narcotic that is typically administered to people in chronic pain, including end stage cancer patients. It is also used as an anesthetic. It is considered 80 times more powerful than mor adidas trainers phine and can kill by inhibiting breathing.
“T adidas trainers he dealers push this as being a super high . but it’s also lethal,” said Ellen Unterwald, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the Temple University School of Medicine. Users typically don’t know how much fentanyl is mixed in, and she said just a small amount can be fatal because the drug is so potent.
“A very small amount can exert a very significant effect,” said Eric Strain, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Research at Johns Hopkins University. In Rhode Island, 25 people have died from the laced heroin, and in Vermont state police have warned that pure fentanyl is being sold as heroin.
With more and more addicts turning to heroin because crackdowns on powerful prescription opiate painkillers have made them more expensive and inaccessible, there is concern that more people may be exposed to fentanyl laced heroin during this wave than in previous one adidas trainers s, including in 2006 when hundreds of people from Chicago to Philadelphia died after injecting the drugs. It urged first responders to “exercise extreme caution” when coming into contact with any heroin because fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin. It is unclear where the fentanyl is coming from. It is typically only distributed in hospitals.
Ocean County has been besieged by heroin and prescription drug overdoses in the past two years; in 2012 there were 53 overdoses in the county and last year there were 112.
“The demand is so high. That’s the problem that’s out there,” Coronato said. Smith, a spokesman for adidas trainers the police in Anne Arundel County, Md. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.