Rash of overdoses could mean contaminated heroin, Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office warns

The Star Tribune –

Within six hours, the Sheriff’s Office responded to two heroin overdoses in Shoreview and one in White Bear Township. 

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday issued a warning about potentially contaminated heroin in local circulation, following a series of overdoses in metro suburbs.

Vials of naloxone, which is used to treat a narcotic overdose in emergency situations. Ramsey County deputies administered naloxone to all three of the victims.

Within a six-hour period, the Sheriff’s Office responded to two heroin overdoses in Shoreview and one heroin overdose in White Bear Township. Two more overdoses were also reported between Friday and Saturday evenings in Anoka and Hennepin counties.

Although heroin abuse is always dangerous, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, the close timing of the overdoses suggests the possibility that a batch of heroin is contaminated with other substances that could make using the drug even riskier than usual.

“At this time, the Sheriff’s Office is concerned there may be a batch of heroin which contains even more dangerous substances and chemicals,” said Jeff Ramacher, undersheriff of Public Safety Services, in a statement. “While all illegal drugs are dangerous and pose the risk of serious injury or death to the user, the fact these many overdoses occurred so close together is especially alarming and a sign that these drugs may be contaminated.”

The overdoses in Ramsey County were reported at 8:13 a.m., 11:25 a.m. and 1:42 p.m. Saturday. Deputies administered narcan (naloxone) to all three of the victims. Two were revived. The condition of the third victim is being evaluated, the statement said.

No further information was immediately available about the overdoses in Anoka and Hennepin counties. The Ramsey County cases remain under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

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