Health News

Laced Heroin Causes 74 Overdoses In Chicago Over Three Days


Heroin abuse has long been acknowledged as a vice on the rise, but 74 non-fatal overdoses in Chicago over the course of only three days have sounded the alarm much more loudly.  That’s over one overdose every hour.

The spokesperson for Chicago’s fire department, Larry Langford, said that these overdoses took place between Tuesday night and Friday night. Some victims showed up at the hospital with needles still stuck in their arms.

The Drug Enforcement Agency is attempting to determine the source of the drugs, which they believe is laced with fentanyl, a strong painkiller. Paramedics are now carrying a supply of Narcan with them to counteract the effect of any potential heroin overdoses that may require immediate attention. Even when using it without harmful substances such as heroin, owners of fentanyl are advised to keep patches away from children, as its powerful qualities put them at risk for overdose.

According to Mount Sinai Hospital emergency room director Diane Hincks in a Washington Post article, some patients have needed a triple dose of the antidote.

Although medical experts and authorities are scrambling to address the crisis, WGN TV reported that there have been no deaths resulting from the overdoses. The citywide epidemic follows a recent ascent in heroin abuse across Chicago.

In 2006, a similar spike in heroin overdoses found fentanyl to blame. When fentanyl is used properly in medical scenarios, it is used to treat chronic pain and is often paired with an opiate such as morphine.

Narcan or another antidote can rapidly reverse the effects of a heroin overdose, but sometimes this may result in withdrawal symptoms. Narcan’s half-life is short, so heroin overdoses usually require multiple administrations of the drug.

Heroin itself is also used in some medical scenarios to treat acute pain, chronic pain, and post-surgical pain, but it is notorious for its addictive qualities. Experts in Chicago continue to investigate the scenario to protect public health.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.