Erie County Executive, Mark Poloncarz is warning users about a new synthetic drug that's hitting the market. The drug is known as 3-Methyl Fentanyl.
"There's a really bad batch of something out on the streets that's really killing people," Poloncarz said.
Poloncarz said the drug has likely made its way from Illinois to Western New York. He thinks it has already caused a spike in overdose deaths in Erie County. Since December 19th, 21 people have died from drug overdoses in Erie County.
Before December 19th, Erie County's overdose rate was on a decline. Earlier this year county leaders anticipated 500 overdose deaths by the end of 2016. Now they're expecting about 350.
Rachel Morrison with Crisis Services believes the programs the county offers is helping.
"The hotline is like serving its purposes. It's a place for people to call and get some kind of linkages or resources," Morrison said.