Two counselors for drug addiction were found dead in West Brandywine, Pennsylvania after they injected a lethal dose of fentanyl and heroin.

First responders tried to resuscitate one of the counselors with naloxone, but it was of no use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that Pennsylvania’s overdose rates are “statistically higher” compared to the national average.

Gray Death, Opioid Overdose
Two lab samples containing heroin and fentanyl. Image credit: New Hampshire State Police Forensic Lab.

Two counselors became victims

Media outlets published a photo of the drug counselor’s nightstand. It had some cigarettes, a “God Calling” book, water, a half-full heroin needle, a spoon and a vaporizer. There were also heroin bags with Superman and “danger” logos on them, which symbolize heroin mixed with fentanyl. The other counselor died in an adjacent room. Both worked at the Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge.

Chester County Attorney Tom Hogan referred to the case as “frightening,” and to the opioid epidemic as a monster that consumes entire populations. The scene shocked the neighborhood and served as a statement on the severity of the state’s drug epidemic.

Fentanyl Overdose
In 2016, at least 3,500 people died from opioid overdoses, almost 1,000 more than in 2015. Image credit: Chester Country Da’s Office.

Authorities claim that Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic is unlike any other within the state, resulting in the loss of 10 Pennsylvanians each day due to drug overdoses.

Fentanyl is more dangerous than heroin

Apparently, one of the main reasons the overdose rate has gone up is that heroin is now being mixed with fentanyl, creating a more potent cocktail that can easily result in the death of the user.

“Anybody who sees baggies in the area with the Superman or ‘danger’ logo must be warned to stay away from these drugs. They appear to be heroin laced with fentanyl and are likely to kill anyone who uses them,” stated Attorney Tom Hogan.

Fentanyl is so dangerous that even police officers are prompted to handle the drug with extreme care as it can even cause an overdose without purposely using it. On May 16, an Ohio police officer collapsed after getting in contact with fentanyl.

Chris Green stopped a man as he saw that both him and his vehicle were covered in white dust. An hour later, Green returned to a police station and a colleague noted some powder on his shirt. He brushed it off, but seconds later collapsed. Luckily, his colleagues managed to revive him with a dose of naloxone. Fentanyl can be absorbed through skin contact, besides inhalation and injection.

As soon as it hit the black markets, overdose rates started to increase. As if the prescription drug epidemic wasn’t bad enough, now health care officials have to deal with fentanyl overdoses. Experts suggest that prescribed opioid painkillers pave the way for potential addicts to expose themselves to heroin.

Another reason for the high popularity of fentanyl is how easy it can be produced. Drug trafficking authorities claim that most fentanyl came from Chinese laboratories and smuggled through Latin America. In the process, drug dealers cut it into heroin because it costs them cheaper while ensuring that the addict receives a powerful hit.

Source: The Washington Post