Five fatal overdoses in 10 days have authorities concerned about a batch of highly potent or badly cut heroin. According to Chronicle Online, Lorain County, Ohio has joined the ranks of communities all over the country.
Dr. Stephen Evans, Lorain County coroner said, "We want to nip this in the bud to stop people from dying. It's either purer than normal, or cut with something more toxic." These five fatal overdoses in this county were all intravenous heroin users. There have been other overdoses, as well, that were not fatal.
Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh said that some of these overdose deaths were found with the needle still in their arm, and he hopes publicity can prevent more deaths. In 2000, Lorain County dealt with 7 to 10 heroin addicts, but by 2010, they are seeing that many every two to three days.
One report said, "Last year, Lorain County had enough narcotics prescribed to provide every man, woman, and child with between 50 and 75 doses. More and more, we are seeing individuals turn from prescription drugs to heroin because it is actually cheaper and easier to acquire." Lorain police officer Chris Colon, who has been a narcotics officer since 2008, 90% of the heroin addicts he interviewed after their arrests said they started using prescription pills before turning to heroin.
According to Colon, many addicts cannot afford pills, especially as the price on the black market continues to rise. One 80mg Oxycontin can sell for $40-$60, while a bindle of heroin costs $10-$20. Both will hold the user for a similar amount of time. In the addict's mind, it is a "no-brainer."
Colon also describes the desperation he sees with these heroin addicts, as they live in fear of withdrawal. He said, "They're not worried about the purity, or of it's good or bad. They just need a fix so bad."
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