Janesville Police warn of fentanyl in heroin

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Friday, May 19, 2017

JANESVILLE—Heroin being sold in the Janesville area likely contains a more potent element of fentanyl than previous batches, according to a news release from the Janesville Police Department.

The stronger strands of the opioid were found during recent investigations, the news release said.

Fentanyl is sold mixed in with heroin. The stronger the fentanyl, the more likely the risk of an overdose, the news release said.

The more potent strands of fentanyl are more resistant to Narcan, the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses.

In addition, the drug can be absorbed through the skin of emergency responders and people trying to overdose victims.

In February, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health released guideline to protect emergency responders.

Exposure to fentanyl via inhalation or skin absorption can be deadly, the CDC reports. Even drug dogs can be at risk.

Chemically similar to heroin, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid painkiller. Various sources say Fentanyl is 40 to 80 times more potent than heroin.

In September and October 2015, Janesville police dealt with a rash of overdoses including two fatal incidents. Investigators believed that at least some of those situations were linked to a batch of heroin with fentanyl in it.

The police department “encourages those those facing addictions proactively seek treatment,” the news release said.

Last updated: 7:51 pm Friday, May 19, 2017

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