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STATES CHRONICLE – In New Haven, an unidentified opioid mix of fentanyl and heroin has caused more than 20 people to overdose, leading to several cases of drug-induced coma, three of which so far proving to be lethal.
City officials have declared a health emergency.
Fentanyl, the powerful opioid painkiller, has been proven to be 50 to 100 times stronger than uncut heroin. Non-laboratory made fentanyl is unregulated and one of the most potent versions of the drug. When mixed with actual heroin, the resulting mix is multiplicative. It is very likely that any fentanyl-heroin mix will induce an overdose which can lead to death.
Authorities and public health officials in several states are attempting to combat the effects with Narcan, a pharmaceutical drug manufactured primarily to be a heroin overdose antidote. An opioid overdose can claim lives in anywhere from 7 to 14 minutes.
The opioid mix in New Haven proved to be so potent that doctors had to administer up to seven separate doses of Narcan to each patient. The overdose also forced doctors to hook the people up to ventilators in order to keep them alive.
Reports of overdoses started coming in on emergency channels Thursday, June 22nd. By the evening of the same day, New Haven’s medical staff reported that they had exhausted the city’s supply of Narcan.
Public health officials advised extreme caution and awareness. They have stated that the drug mixture is indeed unusual as identical overdose reactions such as these are quite rare.
Police officers stated that several conscious overdose victims believed they were buying a small amount of cocaine and that they were not aware they were consuming such a potent opioid mix.
The State Department has sent 700 additional doses of Narcan to help doctors save any other opioid-induced overdoses.
Connecticut is, unfortunately, no stranger to opioid addicts, as it was met with 723 drug overdoses in 2015 alone. Nevertheless, such a high number of overdoses and death in only one day proved to be a huge blow to the state’s morale.
The state has also been struggling with crippling infrastructure issues as budget deficits, low revenue, and an already high and rising demand for social services.
Families who suspect or know that members or friends could be opioid users are urged to seek out help in their name or to secure a dose of Narcan to be used in case of emergency.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay.