3 Drug Overdose Deaths Reported Friday

Published Date: Jan 28, 2017

Three drug overdose deaths were reported Friday in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, indicating that there is likely highly potent heroin in the area. The Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition is warning the public about the dangers of the presence of the drug causing these overdoses. The concern is that the heroin is cut with other, more potent drugs, such as fentanyl or carfentanil. Lab results will identify whether another substance is present.

Two of the overdose deaths on Friday occurred in Frederick County and the third in Clarke County, bringing the total number of heroin overdose deaths this year in the Northern Shenandoah Valley to five. Eleven non-fatal overdoses have also been reported. During the same period last year three non-fatal overdoses were reported in the area (Winchester, Frederick County, Clarke County, Warren County, Shenandoah County, and Page County). Since 2011, 119 people in the Northern Shenandoah Valley have lost their lives to a heroin overdose.

Agents with the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force are ramping up efforts to identify the source of the deadly batch in an effort to prevent additional overdoses.

Nearby Carroll County, Maryland reported seven overdoses in the span of two hours on Friday.

“We need the public’s help to spread the word about this potent batch of heroin that is claiming lives in our area,” said Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition Executive Director Lauren Cummings. “We don’t want another family to lose a loved one,” she added.

Friends and family members of individuals struggling with the disease of addiction are encouraged to seek help for their loved ones by visiting roadtorecovery.info for resources or calling CONCERN HOTLINE at 540-667-0745.