In a case reminiscent of a 1988 incident in which drug addicts died in high numbers due to purposely tainted heroin, a new wave of deaths is prompting police in Pittsburgh to investigate the possibility of tainted heroin.
17 people died in just one week, due to a potentially tainted or purposely stronger form of heroine on the streets of Pittsburgh.
Many of the drug users who died last week had consumed heroin packaged in a plastic Thera-Flu baggie. Analysis of the traces left in the baggies showed that the heroin had been spiked with fentanyl, a compound that is 100 more potent than morphine.
The Fentanyl in the spiked heroin had been produced by someone, and was not of pharmaceutical origin.
Although all of the deceased were habitual drug users, the rash of deaths is very unusual. Most weeks see just one overdose death in that area.
The high number of deaths has prompted the authorities to call it a public health crisis
To date, the tainted heroin is not known to have been spiked purposely, or whether the person who produced it was unaware of the deadly potential of the drug.
The Pittsburgh health authorities have placed posters on streets exhorting people not to take the drug.
Source : the Mail/ 1.27.14