ANDOVER, Minn. (FOX 9) - Anoka County law enforcement are announcing a new warning following a spike in heroin overdose deaths.
“It only suggests that the potency and toxicity of the heroin on the streets today and currently is a much higher level than what we’ve seen,” said Lt. Dan Douglas of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.
In the last 10 days, four people have died from suspected heroin overdoses across the county. It’s an alarming number that may indicate a bad batch of heroin is currently being dealt throughout the metro.
“There is one or two sources of supply within the metro area of heroin and when it hits the streets it goes fast. People are simply unaware based on their own history of dosage,” said Lt. Douglas.
He says more toxic batches of heroin usually come in cycles through the Twin Cities; most times they stem from the drug cartels in Mexico. He says law enforcement is fighting an uphill battle trying to take out the dealers.
“We ourselves are targeting the sellers—the source and supply of heroin to the people in our community and it’s our job to find those people and to send them to prison for as long as we can,” said Lt. Douglas.
Hennepin EMS told Fox 9 suspected overdoses within the same 10-day period this month were also up compared to last year. Since last week they responded to 42 calls, in which 13 people were saved by Narcan or naloxone.
Lt. Douglas says it's not that drug usage is going down, it's that more people are getting life-saving treatment quicker.
“Fortunately, a lot of these people have been saved by friends and family through the use of Narcan, however, a number of them are beyond help,” he said.
Because of the massive surge in Narcan use, investigators say there's actually a shortage of the life-saving tool across the country.
Overall, there were 17 deaths this year in Anoka County from drug overdoses, nine of those are heroin related. Lt. Douglas says those statistics are consistent with the year before.