- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville police say they have seen a spike in the number of overdose calls they’ve responded to this month.

The Courier-Journal reports (https://cjky.it/21sSH0H) Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad says he thinks he knows what’s causing it.

“There is something going on, we believe, with the heroin that’s being used in our community,” said Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad. “We believe it is mixed with other drugs, and it is something that is causing people to overdose.”

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Jefferson County Coroner Dr. Barbara Weakley-Jones says the city is seeing an increase in overdoses involving prescription drugs, such as potent pain medication fentanyl and anticonvulsant gabapentin.

Conrad says the heroin is being cut with these other drugs while maintaining potency.

On Monday, he shared information from the coroner about the overdoses and a drug police are using to counter overdoses. In February, officers gave a potentially life-saving dose of heroin antidote naloxone 26 times to those overdosing. This month’s total has jumped to 43 so far.

“The potency is always changing and can always be mixed with new medications,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, interim director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “Every time someone injects they run the risk of overdosing.”

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