Lethal opioid blamed in 75+ overdoses

Drug enforcement officers suspect a supercharged form of heroin is to blame for 50 overdoses in Indiana and Ohio since Tuesday and more than 75 total since Friday, reports USA Today.

In Ohio, the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition reported more than 30 overdoses Monday. Since Tuesday, 33 more overdoses were reported in Cincinnati, including one fatal overdose, according to the article.

Officials in Jennings County, Ind., responded to 14 overdoses late Tuesday and early Wednesday, including one that was fatal, Jennings County Sheriff's Department and Seymour Police said in the report.

Authorities are trying to determine whether a specific source of heroin was tainted or cut with something that caused the users to overdose, according to the article.

Law enforcement officials suspect the heroin was laced with fentanyl, or possibly carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer that's 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.

Authorities have recently tied carfentanil to an increase in overdoses in several states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Florida.

In July, police indicted a Columbus, Ohio, man for passing off a batch of the drug as heroin, causing nine overdoses and one death.

Police Chief Tom Synan of Newtown, Ohio, who heads the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition, told The Cincinnati Enquirer  the exact cause of Cincinnati's most recent spate of overdoses is not yet known.


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