Deadly Laced Heroin has Law Enforcement on High Alert - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Deadly Laced Heroin has Law Enforcement on High Alert

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SALISBURY, Md. - A deadly batch of heroin laced with the powerful painkiller, fentanyl, has already claimed the lives of 37 people in Maryland since September of 2013.  Law enforcement and health officials are stepping up enforcement to try and avoid any more overdose deaths caused by the drug cocktail.

Of the 37, two of those people overdoses on the Eastern Shore.  One in Wicomico County and the other in Somerset County. 

"Some of them die with the needle actually still in their arm because their respiration has dropped so dramatically and so quickly.  So they are playing Russian Roulette with their bodies," said Wicomico County State's Attorney Matt Maciarello.

In an effort to combat the issue, both law enforcement and Wicomico County health officials are urging people to take advantage of the addiction treatment programs at the county health department.  The health department is also working with numerous local agencies to prepare as many people as possible for a worst case scenario.

"Certifying individuals to be able to administer Naloxone, so if somebody overdoses, they'd have that Naloxone available to maybe save their life versus having to wait for EMS or other first responders to get there," said Heath Brown of the county health department.

Maciarello said the issue with the laced heroin is not limited to Maryland and is a problem on the East Coast, with numerous deaths reported in places like Pittsburgh and Rhode Island.  Because the issue is so wide spread, the whole region is trying to combat it.

"We're meeting with the U.S. Attorney's Office this week because this is a regional issue.  We are going to get briefings from DA agents that are operating up and down the East Coast so that we can manage this issue together," the state's attorney said.

The threat of this deadly drug cocktail has everyone on high alert.

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