A recent increase in overdose deaths related to heroin and cocaine has
prompted the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
to issue a health advisory to the community about the risk of drugs laced
Fentanyl is a prescription analgesic, which is roughly 50 to 80 times more
potent than morphine. This drug is currently being laced into heroin and
cocaine found in the Chicagoland area.
“The risk of serious health issues and potentially an overdose with street
drugs is always a possibility,” said Carmen Arlt, Director of the Recovery
Center at Porter-Starke Services. “Tremendous local treatment is available
to prevent these tragic deaths,” said Arlt.
While SAMHSA notes that little is fully known about the situation, it
appears fentanyl is involved in at least some of the overdose cases.
Fentanyl related overdoses can result in sudden death through respiratory
arrest, cardiac arrest, severe respiratory depression, cardiovascular
collapse, or even anaphylactic reaction.
This news comes at a time in which Porter County has experienced more
overdose deaths so far this year than all of last year combined, according
to Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris. Since fentanyl is not detected in
standard toxicology screenings, overdoses can be misdiagnosed due to lack of
understanding of the measures to be taken immediately following an overdose.
If a suspected overdose of fentanyl laced heroin occurs, treatment of
Naloxone should be administered to reverse the systems related to narcotic
If you or anyone you know has a problem with drugs, encourage them to seek
treatment. The decision could save their life.