Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - GPS -

The orig­i­nal numbers were star­tling enough — 30 heroin over­doses across Cincin­nati in a sin­gle week­end. Then they just kept climb­ing.

An­other 78 over­doses and at least three deaths were re­ported dur­ing a 48-hour pe­riod last Tues­day and Wed­nes­day.

And at the end of the week, af­ter a six­day stretch of emer­gency room vis­its that ex­hausted first re­spon­ders and their med­i­cal sup­plies, the over­dose tally soared to a num­ber health of­fi­cials are call­ing “un­prece­dented”: 174.

On av­er­age, Cincin­nati sees four over­dose re­ports per day, the re­ported, and usu­ally no more than 20 or 25 in a given week.

But pure heroin is what’s re­spon­si­ble for that av­er­age. And that’s not what’s on the streets now, they say. The cul­prit re­spon­si­ble for the stag­ger­ing num­ber of 174 was likely heroin cut with the lat­est opi­oid boost meant to de­liver con­sumers a stronger, ex­tended high — car­fen­tanil. That’s a tran­quil­izer for, among other large an­i­mals, ele­phants. And it’s 100,000 stronger than mor­phine.

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