MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minneapolis police responded to five heroin overdoses in just one day on Friday. They're blaming it on a "very bad batch" of heroin hitting the streets.
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office clarified on Twitter, "[there is] never a good batch, but this is an especially deadly batch. We can't stop all users so we hope to provide warning."
Addiction specialist Dr. Joseph lee says it's hard to say what might be causing the spike, but a growing number of overdoses nationwide are being attributed to the introduction of Fentanyl – a synthetic opioid once found only in medical settings that’s now being used to cut heroin.
"People aren't equally tolerant to every opioid,” Lee said. "People have been able to make their own Fentanyl in their labs just like they make methamphetamine. It's a very potent opioid, much more potent than heroin is.”
Fetanyl increases the potency; and relative to heroin, it's cheap to produce which is a win-win for cartels and dealers who can now deliver a powerful drug and also increase profits.
"That's part of the black market economics. Both the fact that it's cut so people can make more profit off the same amount, and also they are using substance so you don't know what is in it.”
The result is a drug more dangerous than ever. And with heroin use nationwide on the rise, preventing overdoses remains a top priority.
A very bad batch of Heroin hitting the streets. In the 4th Precinct alone; Officers and EMS have responded to 5 over-doses today.— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) March 26, 2016