Why are there so many heroin overdoses all of a sudden? It's happening here and all across the country. And the short answer is people are reportedly overdosing on dangerous narcotics like fentanyl that has been mixed with heroin. To put this in perspective, fentanyl is 30 times more potent than heroin and is usually used for painful surgical procedures. This extra powerful synthetic painkiller is added as a boost making it desirable for heroin suppliers. CBS News reported that last week, 74 heroin overdoses took place in Chicago in just 4 days due to this painkiller laced heroin. Fire Department personnel have been provided with Narcan for their emergency runs and because of their preparedness, only one out of the 74 cases ended with death there.

Here on the South Coast, the overdose epidemic is no different. Drug users collapse as soon as they inject themselves with the deadly concoction. When First Responders arrive equipped with Narcan, some of the users still have the needles in their arms. There is a nationwide concern that addicts who used prescription drugs have shifted over to street heroin because it's more plentiful and inexpensive. An epidemic like the one we're witnessing today happened in 2005 and 2007, killing more than 1,000 people nationwide. The Drug Enforcement Administration and state and local authorities are teaming up to try and find the source of these dangerous batches.

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