Chesterton Tribune



Coroner Harris issues Fentanyl warning

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Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris’ quarterly report, released on Wednesday, reveals a disturbing trend in heroin usage in the region: the increasing presence of Fentanyl in addicts’ supply.

Over the first three months of 2017, according to Harris’ report, the Coroner’s Office investigated 16 fatal drug overdoses. Of those, 14 involved opiates. Of those 14, nine involved heroin. And of those nine, Fentanyl was detected in four cases.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate “50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine,” Harris said. “Frequently, drug users do not know that the heroin they are using is laced with Fentanyl. Therefore, when injecting their usual amount, they end up taking a lethal dose.”

“Heroin and Fentanyl can look identical,” Harris added. “Drug dealers include Fentanyl in the heroin to increase the potency. However, their measuring equipment is often inaccurate and the Fentanyl that is used is almost always produced by a clandestine lab and is of poor quality.”

Harris’ warning: “The use of these types of illicit drugs is like playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.”

Other numbers from Harris’ quarterly report:

* 434 deaths were recorded in Porter County.

* Of those, 117 were investigated by the Coroner’s Office.

* 83 of the 117 were determined to be natural and 23 accidental, 10 were ruled suicides, and the cause of one other was undetermined.

* 16 of the 23 accidental deaths resulted from drug overdoses.


Posted 6/1/2017





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