- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - Roanoke County police say some of this year’s drug overdoses in the area may have been caused by a powerful painkiller that drug users had thought was heroin.

The Roanoke Times (https://bit.ly/1Hg3zsr ) reports that law enforcement from Roanoke, Roanoke County and Salem have responded to 11 overdose incidents since May 1, four of which resulted in deaths.

Roanoke County police spokeswoman Amy Whittaker says all four people who died used one of two products that were later found to be nearly pure fentanyl.

Whitaker says interviews with survivors of the overdoses indicate that each had purchased and used a product believed to have been heroin.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl typically amplifies the potency of heroin or cocaine and frequently results in higher overdose incidents.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, https://www.roanoke.com

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