UPDATE: Two More Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Deaths In DE - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

UPDATE: Two More Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Deaths In DE

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DELAWARE - Two more fentanyl-laced heroin deaths have reportedly occurred in Delaware, bringing the year's total to eight. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner says the latest two deaths happened in April, and bring the State total to eight for the year.

Fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller, is reportedly 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin, and the two are often mixed for a stronger high. Authorities say illicit fentanyl can come in white powder form like heroin, and users often don't know the fentanyl is mixed in.

In Philadelphia from March to April, they have reportedly confirmed 28 deaths caused by mixed the drugs. Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Michigan also have reported fentanyl-related overdose deaths. Officials say of the eight deaths, the ages of the six men, and two women range from 28 to 58, with five of the deaths happening in New Castle County, and three in Sussex County.

During the last outbreak of fentanyl-tainted heroin overdoses in 2006, Delaware had seven confirmed deaths.

Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf says "The warning needs to get out that fentanyl-laced heroin is here in Delaware and that people are dying from it. For those who suffer from addiction, the state and private providers are prepared to support individuals who are ready to seek treatment. At the same time, we thank law enforcement agencies, including the Delaware State Police, for targeting heroin suppliers and dealers to disrupt the supply chain."

According to the report, when a user injects the fentanyl-laced heroin, it affects the central nervous system, causing breathing troubles, or even causes the user to stop breathing because the drug has sedated them. Officials say if someone is too drowsy to answer questions, is having difficulty breathing, or appears to be so asleep they cannot be awakened, call 911 immediately.

If you or a loved one needs treatment in New Castle County, call (800) 652-2929. In Kent and Sussex counties, call (800) 345-6785.

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