The Trumbull County coroner’s office has noticed a spike in the number of females under age 40 who have suffered fatal heroin overdoses in the past couple of weeks — about six.
Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, Trumbull County coroner, called the number alarming and added that the fact that two of them still had hypodermic needles in their arms is an indication that the heroin being used is more potent than before.
Dr. Germaniuk theorized that a new dealer is selling the drug or a more potent version is being sold.
He also theorized that efforts by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and others in law enforcement to clamp down on physicians overprescribing drugs such as OxyContin may be leading some addicts to buy heroin instead.
Earlier this year, Dr. Germaniuk reported there were 36 accidental drug- related deaths in 2012, down 23 from 59 in 2011.