Deaths from heroin have more than doubled within the past five years. All across the United States, towns are being hit increasingly hard with unprecedented levels of overdoses. The heroin epidemic is unlike anything people have seen. Cincinnati was hit especially hard over the past week, with the county seeing a massive 174 overdoses in 6 days.
Thanks to quick responses, good supplies, and good training for emergency personnel, there were only three deaths. As bad as the week was, it could have potentially been much worse. It’s still possible that there were more overdoses which went unreported.
City Manager Harry Black said Cincinnati sees an average of four overdoses a day. This is a difficult number to pin down because multiple agencies report different statistics, but it’s clear the number is usually low. Not low enough, but still low.
Officials believe the recent rash of overdoses is because of heroin laced with carfentanil, a potent opioid 10,000 times stronger than morphine. They’ve had a difficult time tracking down whatever was responsible for the overdoses and haven’t confirmed anything yet. Just that heroin has struck yet again.
The head of the Hamilton County Heroin Task Force, Newtown police Chief Tom Synan, warned heroin users to not buy anything until the dust settled. “We don’t know what’s in the stuff on the street,” he said. He suspects that the dealers are promoting a new batch that they know is deadly.
“These people are intentionally putting in drugs they know can kill someone. The benefit for them is if the user survives it is such a powerful high for them, they tend to come back… If one or two people dies, they could care less. They know the supply is so big right now that if you lose some customers… there’s always more in line.”