Authorities in Chicago say a recent rise in heroin overdoses is continuing to climb.
Almost 75 people reportedly overdosed on unsafe narcotics, possibly heroin laced with painkiller fentanyl, in Chicago over a three-day span, according to city health and fire officials. Frank Velez said Thursday night. Heroin, once praised as miracle drug by itself, is now mixed with the powerful painkiller Fentanyl and it is catching drug users by surprise – as shown by the unexpected Chicago overdoses. “That’s what we think is happening”, explained Diane Hincks, emergency room director and a registered Nurse from the Mount Sinai Hospital on the West Side. The Chicago metropolitan area ranks the worst in the nation for heroin use and heroin-related problems. Chicago officials stated that paramedics and other Fire Department personnel had been provided with Narcan for their emergency medical runs and because of their preparedness, only one out of the 74 cases ended with death. Though he couldn’t say how many, there were definitely fatal calls. Dr. Tarlan Hedayati at Stroger Hospital is alarmed because the standard treatment for heroin overdoses isn’t immediately working. They are in the process of hunting for the source of the drug, focusing on two locations in the city’s West Side.
“The local hospitals noticed there was a spike and an increase of heroin overdoses in a short period of time”, Velez said.