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Suspected laced heroin takes aim at two central Indiana communities over the weekend

BARTHOLOMEW and DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. – Suspected laced heroin took aim at two central Indiana communities over the weekend. Bartholomew and Delaware counties both reported skyrocketing overdose numbers in heroin linked to Ohio.

Authorities believe in both counties, the heroin was likely cut with carfentanil, an animal tranquilizer ten thousand times more powerful than morphine.

Seven overdoses occurred over the weekend in Bartholomew County, with six of them happening in Columbus. Police gave Naloxone to save lives.

“Our officers are equipped with Narcan, and if someone is unresponsive, as in these cases, they were described as having blue lips and not breathing,” said Sgt. Matt Harris with Columbus Police.

Investigators believe the Bartholomew County batch was laced, likely with the elephant tranquilizer Carfentanil. And the substance came from Cincinnati.

In Delaware County, first responders fought weekend overdoses too, the same type of heroin, likely shipped in from Dayton.

The weekend overdose numbers in Delaware County are staggering. The emergency management director tells us they had 10 overdoses on Friday night, and between seven to 10 on Saturday and Sunday. In one case, two people were found together with needles still inserted in them. Paramedics were spread thin by all the overdose cases.

“People are going from pain pills, which have been prescribed at a far greater rate in the U.S. than anywhere else, and heroin is a cheaper, easier solution,” said Scott Watson, with Heartland Intervention.

Watson said laced heroin can be even cheaper, but it’s more dangerous.

“Heroin is always bad for you, but heroin when laced with these things can be fatal,” he said.

He said overdose spikes like those over the weekend should compel anyone with a loved one hooked on heroin to act and find them help fast.

“It’s important that we take action to try and find them the compassionate, quick way to get them the help they need,” he said.

Two times in the past month Hancock County authorities have seized fentanyl-laced heroin on Interstate 70 traffic stops. Investigators there are looking into getting face masks, body protective suits, and drug testing devices so that deputies will have more precautions when seizing unknown substances that could be dangerous.